Buhari Pledges Support For Efforts To Tackle HIV/AIDS
In an address he presented on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America last night, the President, who arrived the U.S. yesterday, commended the world body for its efforts so far in combating the disease.
He noted that the future challenges require collective efforts, especially in the face of dwindling global resources.
Buhari expressed Nigeria’s appreciation to UN-AIDS for the support and collaboration in organising the event. “We are on the threshold of history as world leaders adopt the successor development agenda to the Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs).
For over 30 years, HIV as a public health challenge has been causing havoc and untold hardship in virtually every part of the world. To date, several million children have been orphaned and some communities have been devastated, while economic activities have been disrupted.
“Unfortunately, sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate burden of this epidemic. The good news is that the effort of the global community has resulted in greater control, less spread and better management,” the President said.
He, however, noted that, “we have made significant progress towards the interception of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In 2014 alone, over 3million pregnant women were tested for HIV and 63,000 of these tested women accessed anti-retroviral therapy.”
Buhari disclosed that what was required in the sub-region’s continued fight against HIV/AIDS is improved health delivery system, education, and cheaper production of anti – retroviral drugs through technology exchange. “Our countries should also look at the whole field of medicare and strengthen our partnership with all stakeholders including the civil society, inter- faith and cultural bodies for education and dissemination of information at all levels.
Nigeria will also like to call upon all pharmaceutical companies for more cooperation and understanding in reducing the cost of anti – retroviral drugs through production of generic items.”
He said Nigeria would continue to work with development partners and key stakeholders to strengthen the means of implementation of the SDGs as elaborated in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. At the continental level, Nigeria remains fully committed to the outcome of the Abuja process as evident in the 2002 Declaration, the Action Framework on Roll – Back Malaria.
“In addition, the 2013 Abuja + 12 Declaration is a strong commitment towards eliminating HIV and AIDs in Africa by 2030. Globally, the United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS of 2011 is a major reference point for intensifying efforts to eliminate the epidemic.”
He said Nigeria appreciates the support of our development partners for their support and commitment to the total eradication of HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as other deadly communicable diseases, for example Ebola, when an epidemic arises.
“I therefore encourage you to continue in your efforts to sustain the fight against infant and maternal deaths, HIV and AIDs, Tuberculosis, Malaria and other communicable diseases, high on the global development agenda. Let us work together to make HIV and AIDs history by 2030”.