U.S government donates funds to fight HIV and AIDS in Nigeria

Mnena Iyorkegh, Abuja

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U.S government has Donates Additional seventy five Million US Dollars to Fight HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.

The funds provided by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is to implement an Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) surge programme in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria.

This is to identify and provide treatment to about one hundred and eighty thousands people living with HIV who have not previously received the drugs.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington said this in a statement when he paid a courtesy visit on Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, Port-Harcourt, the State Capital.

Ambassador Symington while applauding Governor Wike for his plan to eliminate user-fees for people living with HIV Said that “The United States remains committed to supporting Nigeria as it works to reduce and ultimately eliminate the scourge of HIV/AIDS among its people, also provide an increased funding to make anti-retrovirals available which would enable more people living with HIV to lead healthy, productive lives until the day a cure for the virus is found.’’

The Ambassador noted that Governor Wike’s pronouncement serves as an example to other States and the Nigerian government to eliminate such user fees.

On a similar vein, Ambassador Symington also paid a similar visit to Akwa Ibom States Governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel, in Uyo, the State Capital.

The Ambassador added that ‘‘disbursement of the additional PEPFAR HIV funds are contingent upon Nigerian federal and state governments reducing or eliminating financial barriers to people living with HIV access to services, in particular fees charged by healthcare facilities for non-essential services or those already provided by PEPFAR’’.

The U.S. delegation was in Rivers and Akwa Ibom State to advocate for elimination of user-fees for all people living with HIV, Antenatal Care charges for pregnant women living with the virus, and other barriers hindering people living with HIV from accessing health care services.

Ime Njoku