The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to urgently devise funding plans for effective management of HIV in the country.
The advise followed a motion proposed at the congress in Abuja on Tuesday by Rep Sergius Ogun (Edo-PDP) on the “need to evaluate the effect of withdrawal of HIV funding by international donors.”
Ogun said the World Health Organisation classed Nigeria as having the second highest HIV epidemic in the world, after South Africa.
He expressed concerns that since 2005, the number of annual AIDS-related deaths had increased.
According to him, this is indicative of the fact that only 51 per cent of those living with HIV in Nigeria have access to antiretroviral treatment.
He added that the country’s health sector is partly dependent on international donors for the procurement of anti-retroviral drugs as the Federal Government contributed 25 per cent of funding for HIV management.
“Aware that in consideration of the rating of Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa, international donors have withdrawn funding as regards HIV response, which is reserved for poorer countries.
“Concerned that as a country with large number of persons living with HIV who require treatment, Nigeria is unable to produce any of the prescribed World Health Organization (WHO) drugs required for the management of HIV.
“Cognizant of the need to increase HIV response, especially with regard to funding,” he said.
Contributing to the motion, Rep. Oghene Egoh (Lagos-PDP), said that the house had a responsibility to find out what was happening.
He argued that the house’s relevant committee must liaise with the ministry of health to see how the international donors could be reached.
“We need to invest money in HIV Management so that our people will not die.
“We should take the matter a serious issue to help those living with HIV or AIDs to leave long,” he said.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
The house, therefore, mandated its Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control to liaise with relevant agencies in the health sector to work out modalities on the effective management of HIV.