All is set for the launch of the private sector led 62.1 Billion Naira (150 Million dollars) HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria (HTFN).
The trust fund is a recommendation by Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, and driven by the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA).
A statement by the Director, Public Relations of NACA, Mrs Toyin Aderigbigbe notes that the trust fund is a sustainable financing mechanism for the mobilization and deployment of domestic private sector resources to address the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in Nigeria.
According to the statement, Nigeria has the highest number of HIV new infections among children globally, with 1 out of every 7 children born with HIV in the world in Nigeria.
The statement explains that in the absence of intervention, the rate of transmission of HIV from a mother living with HIV to her child during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding ranges from 15% to 45% but With the right treatment however, this risk reduces to less than 1%.
According to the statement, the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria will improve efforts to ensure coverage of high-IMPACT HIV interventions that will provide the requisite treatment for HIV positive mothers, while contributing to closing the funding gap for HIV in Nigeria that currently stands at about 108 Million dollars per annum.
In the statement, the Trust Fund’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Jekwu Ozoemene, a seasoned banker, administrator, and finance expert opined that by deploying private sector competencies and capital market tools, the HTFN is key to helping Nigeria achieve the UNAIDS 95-95-95 strategy of Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
The statement adds that the Fund is currently Chaired by Dr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of a new Generation Bank, with Dr. Gambo Aliyu, Director General National Agency for the Control of AIDS – NACA; and Dr. Sani Aliyu, immediate past Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS as members.
Written by Emmanuel Kutara, edited by Daniel Adejo