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Group urges collaboration to combat HIV/AIDS

Some members of the FCT Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN)

As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s World AIDS Day, Civil Society For HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has urged the federal government to involve civil societies in the planning processes to tackle the disease.

At a conference in Abuja, CiSHAN says HIV was still a serious problem that requires urgent funding, more awareness, the eradication of prejudice, and improved educational opportunities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) founded World AIDS Day on December 1 in 1988 to promote information sharing between local and national authorities, international organisations, and private citizens.

In a call for action in commemoration of the day, the FCT Coordinator of CiSHAN, Chinwe Aganekwu argued that the theme “Equalize” alone is a call to action for all to redress disparities and aid in the eradication of AIDS.

This, according to her is to ensure that everyone is well-served, increase the availability, quality, and acceptability of services for HIV treatment, testing, prevention and to combat the prejudice and isolation suffered by people who are HIV-positive and by important and disadvantaged communities, reform laws policies, and practices.

“This will ensure that everyone is respected and accepted. Ensure technology exchange among localities as well as among Global South and the North to provide fair access to the greatest HIV science.

“Communities will be free to utilise and modify the “Equalize” message to draw attention to the specific inequities they confront and to push for the remedial measures required.” She stated.

She also appealed to all to support the fight to eradicate AIDS while numerous lives are at stake as a result of the recent stagnation in HIV objective progress and resource depletion.

National Programme Manager of CiSHAN, Jonah Agbaji said the absence of civil societies in the planning Processes of HIV/AIDs programmes was affecting the implementation and fight against the disease

“The government is not engaging the civil society organisations directly in planing. At the planing stage civil societies are not part of the discussion and so implementation suffers.

“When money is disbursed for this activity it misses along the road because the right people are not carried along,” he said.

CiSHAN FCT members such as Citizens Health Initiative represented by Abu Abdulrasaq, ACIST represented by Amos Bawa, Catholic Action committee on HIV/AIDs represented by Julia Ishiguzo, and LOGON Global Foundation represented Oby Okeke also shared their experiences towards HIV/AIDs intervention in their various communities.

Reporting by Daniel Adejo; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare