900,000 HIV patients currently on treatment – NACA

Dr. Sani Aliyu, the Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says 900,000 HIV patients are currently on treatment.Aliyu disclosed this while answering questions from the public at the Nigeria Health Watch Forum on Thursday in Abuja with the theme“Does Leadership Matters?’’.

He noted that 70 per cent of HIV/AIDS treatment funding is sourced from donor agencies, while 20 per cent is funded by the government and 10 per cent from the private sector.

The director-general however described this as unhealthy for the country, noting that there is need for the agency to collaborate with the legislative arms of the government to ensure adequate funding of the sector.

Aliyu identified education, security and health as the areas of importance in any democratic setting, adding that development of a nation will be deterred if the populace is unhealthy.

While decrying inadequate funding of HIV/AIDs treatment and, he pointed out that the state with the highest burden of the disease doesn’t have have the resources for fighting the scourge.

Aliyu noted that leadership is all about work and engaging the services of the lower cadre to improve service delivery.

“I should be held accountable for my actions with regard to those living with HIV/AIDS and we promise that we will do our best to deliver on our mandate.

“There is no way an agency can do it alone; it requires collaborative efforts of others to succeed in its promises.The problem with the system is that people tend to follow shortcut which amount to corruption rather than following due process which is the major challenge in the system in general.We appeal to government to prioritize investment for health and we promise to be open to criticisms when the need arises with regard to the amount allocated and spent,’’ he said.

The forum is geared towards giving heads of health institutions opportunity to enlighten the public on their plans to improve the country’s health sector.