The Director of SURE-P HIV/AIDS Intervention, Dr Sabestine Wakdok has said Nigeria now stands a better chance to eliminate HIV/AIDS pandemic given the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan through the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan (PCRP).
He stated this in Abuja at a forum to appraise the performance of the ongoing SURE-P projects around the country.
Wakdok maintained that the effectiveness of the PCRC is outlined to ensure positive results in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
He explained that the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (PCRP) is a tool designed to respond to the system and service delivery challenges facing the HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria.
“It was developed out of concern by all HIV/AIDS stakeholders in the community that the country was not on track in actualising the 2011 United Nations political declaration on HIV and AIDS commitment which amongst others, sought to intensify global efforts to eliminate HIV and AIDS and take specific steps to achieve ambitious goals by 2015.
“The goal of the PCRP is to accelerate the implementation of key interventions over a two year period (2014 and 2015) in order to bridge existing service gaps, address key financial, health systems and coordinating challenges and promote greater responsibility for the HIV response at the federal and state levels,” he said.
He explained that the PCRP was conceived to avail 80 million men and women aged 15 years and older with knowledge of their HIV status, enroll an additional 600,000 eligible adults and children on ART, provides ART for 244,000 HIV pregnant women for PMTCT, provides access to combination prevention services for MARPS and 4 million young person’s and activate 2,000 new PMTCT and ART service delivery points across the country.
Accordingly, the PCRP funding earmarked for 2014 was provided through the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) to provide ART and prophylactic treatment for opportunistic infections in 50,000 eligible adults and children, prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV among 15,000 pregnant women living with HIV, and avail 5 million men and women aged 15 years and older with knowledge of their HIV status.
The funding according to Wakdok will be leveraging on the existing systems and structures with active scale up of demand creation activities for HIV services in eight states (Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Kano, Niger, Oyo, Plateau and Taraba) that are part of the 12+1 states contributing to 60 per cent of the HIV burden in the country.
“In these eight states as well as the remaining States of the federation, HCT campaigns will be conducted, access to PMTCT services will supported while state Management Teams (SMTs) to strengthen partnership, deepen state level ownership, leadership, resourcing, accountability and implementation of their state specific plan,” he said.
He maintained that “With continuous adequate funding and support from SURE-P, NACA through the SURE-P PIU HIV/AIDS Intervention fund aims to scale up ART services from 50,000 in 2014 to 150,000 in 2015, increase HCT coverage from 5 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2015 and by 5 years the fund should have been able to put 800,000 eligible persons on ART and provided HCT coverage to 80 million persons. In the same way, PMTCT coverage is expected to increase from 15,000 to 50,000 in 2015 with 250,000 pregnant women having access to PMTCT services with 5 years funding support.
“The few gains made in the HIV/AIDS response in the country can be consolidated and sustained with increasing domestic funding and support. Therefore SURE-P HIV/AIDS intervention is an avenue to achieve this.”
On funding, he explained that “the estimated investment of the PCRP was $1.7 billion (N262.7 billion) to be spread over a two year period. Proportionately, 96% of the funds is for the acceleration of the implementation of HIV prevention, treatment and care services. The remaining 4% is to strengthen systems and improve coordination of the national HIV response.
“The eight billion naira SURE-P HIV/AIDS funding for 2014 is far below the approximately 140 billion naira that was proposed in the PCRP. Hence the present funding is targeted at providing ART and prophylactic treatment for opportunistic infections to 50,000 eligible adults and children, prevent mother to child transmission of HIV among 15,000 pregnant women living with HIV, and avail 5 million men and women aged 15 years and older with knowledge of their HIV status. As indicated earlier, the funding will be leveraging on the existing systems and structures with active scale up of demand creation activities for HIV services in 8 States (Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Kano, Niger, Oyo, Plateau and Taraba) that are part of the 12+1 States contributing to 60% of the HIV burden in the country. However, leveraging on existing structures can occur in any three scenarios.”