About 1million HIV patients are currently on treatment- NACA

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[Abuja]–Director-General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Sani Aliyu, says 900,000 HIV patients are currently on treatment.

Aliyu disclosed on Thursday in Abuja, while answering questions from the public at the Nigeria Health Watch Forum tagged: “Does Leadership Matters?’’.

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

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

Aliyu while identifying education, security and health as the core areas of development in any democratic setting, added that development of a nation will be deterred if the populace were unhealthy.

He further decried the level of inadequate funding of HIV/AIDs treatment and the agency, pointing out that the state with the highest burden of the disease did not have budget line in fighting the scourge.

Speaking on the theme of the forum, Aliyu noted that leadership was 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 prioritise 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 health sector and the public on their plans to improve the country’s health sector.

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