House of Reps Canvases For The Tackling Of Public Health Diseases

By: Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The House of Representatives committee on HIV AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria (ATM), has canvassed the allocation of one percent of the Consolidated Revenue of the Federal Government to tackle HIV/AIDS and other Public Health diseases.

The Chairman of the Committee, Rep Amobi Ogah made the appeal while briefing the committee members at the end of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA and House ATM Committee Retreat held at the national Assembly complex in Abuja.

He said that, “The decision followed a careful analysis of NACA’s capacity, performance and experience and for the sustenance of the fight against all public health diseases and to reduce over dependence on foreign Aids.”

He explained that there was a lack of coordination of efforts and responses to Public Health disease in Nigeria.

He stressed the need to amend the NACA Establishment Act of 2007, to restructure NACA to a Multi Sector Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, that will coordinate responses to HIV/ AIDS, and other Public Health threats such as Viral Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer, Leprosy and Malaria.

The Chairman reiterated the committee commitment towards reviewing the anti-discrimination Act of 2014 to ensure relevance and to further the dialogue on stigmatization of patients who suffer from these diseases.

“Among decision taken at the retreat held recently in Lagos with the theme: “Leadership for Sustainability of the HIV Response – The Role of the Legislature,” were the need to provide Legislative interventions that will facilitate the domestic production of HIV drugs and commodities, thereby promoting Local Content within the sector. It includes the call on all Non-Governmental Agencies and Other Non-State Actors who are working in the sector to register with NACA or the New Agency an d subject themselves to oversight by the National Assembly to promote accountability, transparency and National security and sovereignty of our Nation. Besides , it entails the need to empower NACA to hold International and Local Partners more accountable for multi-sectoral interventions in Nigeria. Call for more interface and engagement with NACA for improved synergy and continuous information sharing on multi-sectoral coordination and managem ent of HIV and other related diseases, he stressed the need for more capacity building Mechanism and attendance at HIV/AIDS conferences for enhanced knowledge of global best practices and innovations. The objectives of the retreat were: to foster the commitment of the legislators to the ownership and sustainability of the HIV response and to facilitate the effectiveness of the HIV response co ordination and oversight,” Mr Ogah said.

The Coordinating Minister o f Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhamad Ali Pate was represented by Dr Adebobol a Bashorun, the National Coordinator of the National AIDS, Hepatitis and STI Control Programme (NASCP). Also in attendance were Dr. Temitope llori, Director General, NA CA, Dr. Oniyire Adetiloye, Country Director, JHPIEGO, Dr. Leo Zekeng, Country Director of UNAIDS, and other senior government functionaries and partners.

In attendance at the retreat were Hon. Abubakar Zango Baba, 27 House committee members, key members of the Taraba State Hose of Assembly, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Health, Finance, Budget and Planning and the Taraba State Health Insurance Agency.

 

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