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Health expert seeks $18bn to fight HIV, others

Participants at the Conference

Stakeholders in the Health Sector want the Federal Government and other non-state actors to support the Global Health fund with at least 18 billion dollars to tackle HIV, TB, Malaria and other possible future pandemics.

This was part of the decision reached at a forum organized by an NGO, Aids Health Care Foundation in Abuja, ahead of the 7th Global Fund Replenishment Conference.

The Convener of the forum and Director of Advocacy, Policy and Marketing, African Bureau, Ms Kemi Gbadamosi said the availability of funds would aid in the stabilization of people with life-threatening diseases and also help build on the gains recorded on HIV, TB, and Malaria in the country.

“This demonstrates that with the right support and funding, the global fund is able to do more for communities, and without the funds, we cannot build on the gains of HIV, TB and Malaria,’’ she said.

According to her, the call became imperative to galvanize financial support at country, regional and global levels to provide the needed assistance for people with HIV and other venereal diseases.

Highlighting the impact of global funds over the years in Nigeria, Executive Secretary, Country Coordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund Nigeria, Mr Dozie Ezechukwu explained that the fund had supported 13 states and is currently in the process of controlling and eliminating the spread of malaria in ten thousand primary health centers across the country.

“From inception in 2002 till date, cumulatively Nigeria has received close to four billion dollars from Global Fund, In the current circle of three years from 2021 to 2023 our total grant for HIV, TB, Malaria and COVID-19 is around 1.2 billion dollars, which we are still using and supporting health system programmes in the country”, he said.

Mr. Ezechukwu, maintained that Nigeria was not just a recipient, but also a contributor to the global funds, and urged the federal government to show more commitment as one of the highest recipients of global fund, because of its impact on the health of its citizens.

The theme of the Conference was : ”FUND THE FUND, #Fight for What Counts”

Reporting by Sarah Gimba; Editing by Julian Osamoto