Gambo Aliyu, the director general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), says state governments should begin to show some independence in HIV response.
Aliyu spoke on Wednesday at the NACA/state agencies for the control of AIDS (SACA) national alignment programme and sustainability meeting in Abuja.
“The new government provides us with the opportunity to re-engage our political leaders and mobilise adequate domestic funds for HIV response at the state level,” NAN quoted Aliyu as saying.
“This, we must do, as the goal of ending HIV and AIDS-related deaths by 2030 would remain a dream unless states take greater ownership of their responses.’’
He explained that the current climate of donor fatigue and global practices of domestic sustainability, made NACA facilitate the development of SACA capacities, in order to lead respective state responses in an effective and efficient manner.
Aliyu noted that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the challenges of SACA, necessitating the need for states to be prepared for pandemic responses.
He congratulated SACAs on their efforts in providing leadership and coordination of responses in the midst of challenges.
“However, a lot is being expected from you and this engagement signals our renewed journey to strengthen coordination and leadership at the state level,” he said.
“We can all agree that achieving the 2030 targets requires us to do more, plan better HIV response by taking deliberate steps to ensure effective coordination, ensuring no one is left behind.
“We are also to provide leadership that responds to the national HIV sustainability agenda that addresses all forms of inequalities to ending AIDS by 2030.”
Speaking at the meeting, Alabi Babajide, the project manager and executive secretary of Kwara state AIDS Control Agency (KWASACA), stressed the need for coordination between NACA and the sub-national agencies.
He said such partnership is paramount in achieving an HIV-free Nigeria by the year 2030.
SOURCE: The Cable