On World AIDS Day, ONE warns that progress against AIDS in Nigeria is Stuck

“We must win the fight against AIDS to Make Naija Stronger”

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The fight against AIDS in Nigeria will not go anywhere unless the government steps up. Under-investment and static spending on health for the past 15 years has undermined the effectiveness of Nigeria’s national AIDS response. The Nigerian government consistently spends less than the 15% it committed to in Abuja in 2001, and has allocated less than 5% of its total budget to the health sector. This means Nigeria’s public health funding falls well below regional and global standards. In 2016 Nigeria allocated N250 billion to health – about 4.13% of the federal budget.

“We need better investments in the primary health care system, as it provides the crucial infrastructure to better position the fight against HIV,” said ONE Africa Executive Director Nachilala Nkombo. “ONE is calling for the Nigerian government to commit to incremental increases over the next 4 years to achieve 45% domestic funding for HIV/AIDS by 2020.”

In its annual report about the global fight against AIDS, launched this week, ONE noted that population growth among especially vulnerable populations in sub-Saharan Africa has left world leaders with a four-year window to get ahead of the disease before long-term control slips beyond our reach.

“We’re making progress, but progress isn’t enough anymore. The status quo just isn’t enough to keep pace with the looming population growth in Africa, let alone to win the fight against AIDS,” said Jenny Ottenhoff, Director of Global Health policy at ONE and author of 2016  ONE AIDS report

The report titled “Stuck in Neutral”, explores gaps in three areas: treatment, prevention, and funding. It assesses progress and identifies challenges, looking closely at paths to 2020, where accelerated action and renewed commitment are needed to break the gridlock and ultimately to tip the balance towards the end of the AIDS epidemic.  The report notes that funding for the global fight against AIDS was flat and gains in treatment and prevention have not grown for a fourth straight year

“Corruption and lack of transparency in the health sector, particularly around HIV funding has undermined Nigerian government and donor efforts to control the pandemic. We need existing resources to be better utilised, so the government must invest in data for health and institutionalize Open Contracting in the health sector in order to strengthen transparency and improve outcomes in the fight against AIDS,” said the Hon. Desmond Elliot,  member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Representative of Surulere.

Notes to editors

  • AIDS-related illnesses are now the leading cause of death for women aged 15 to 44 on the planet, and over 17,000 women of all ages are infected with HIV every week.
  • 3.1% of Nigeria’s adult population is HIV-positive, compared to an 4.8% in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole
  • 59% of adults living with HIV in Nigeria are women
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely as young men to be infected with HIV, and 850 young women contract the virus every day.
  • In September, world leaders met in Montreal to commit US$12.9 billion over the next three years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria — the largest multilateral commitment to a global health project in history. The Global Fund is a public-partnership that pools the world’s resources to invest strategically in programs to end three epidemics. It is credited with saving 20 million lives to date, and 8 million more by 2019.

About Make Naija Stronger campaign

The campaign is a national health campaign to draw attention to the urgent need for increased public investments to improve health and nutrition outcomes in Nigeria. It amplifies the calls of various Nigerian organisations that have called on the government to prioritise increased health investments to help strengthen health systems and save lives.

Citizens Town Hall Meeting with the Senate President on World AIDS Day

Venue: NAF Conference Center, Jahi – Abuja

Time: 14:00 PM

FOR INTERVIEWS WITH THE ONE SPOKESPEOPLE AND AMBASSADORS, PLEASE CONTACT  Oma Areh
+234 803 472 1860 / +234 1 454 0480

ONE is a strictly non partisan campaigning and advocacy organisation of more than seven million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa.

Whether lobbying political leaders in world capitals or running cutting-edge grassroots campaigns, ONE pressures governments to do more to fight AIDS and other preventable, treatable diseases in the poorest places globally, to empower smallholder farmers, to expand access to energy, and to combat corruption so governments are accountable to their citizens.

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