The launch of Presidential Comprehensive Response Plan in Nigeria in July 2013 clearly states the direction and deliberate efforts of the Federal Government to drive issues of Ownership and Sustainability of HIV Response in Nigeria. With Nigeria’s HIV response deeply dependent on foreign donor funding and the continued dwindling foreign donor funding, there was a clear need for the government to step-up its game if she must begin to look in-country to fund her HIV Response.
The government of Nigeria was handed over two states, based on mutual understanding by FHI 360 who are being funded by the US Government through President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the country now saddled with the responsibility of fully funding HIV Response in Abia and Taraba state, meaning all the thousands of Nigerians accessing and needing HIV/AIDS intervention services in these two states are to be solely funded by the federal government.
The National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS 2013) stated that Taraba State has 10.5% HIV prevalence rate, which makes the state to be in dire need of an effective and well-funded HIV Response to address HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment issues. The federal government of Nigeria through the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) took over the HIV response in Taraba state from 1st of April, 2015 and two years on; NACA seeks to assess the Ownership and Sustainability drive of the federal government hence the idea behind the Media Tour of HIV intervention sites of some selected facilities across Taraba state.
The Director General, Taraba state Agency for the Control of AIDS (TACA) Alhaji Abba Ibrhaim was on ground to receive the media team. In his remarks at the entry meeting into the state, the DG said before now, Taraba HIV Response was dependent on Donor Funds but since 2015, the Nigeria government has taken over the funding of the HIV response in the state. Alhaji Abba said TACA is solely responsible for coordinating the state HIV Response, the State Ministry of Health (SMoH) is in charge of Care and Treatment while the State Ministry of Women Affairs takes care of issues around Orphans and Vulnerable Children. He went further to state that with the help World Bank Funding, over 17 Civil Society Organizations (CSO) have been trained and they have carried out different HIV intervention across the state. The DG TACA said the state have Counseled and Tested within the last one year about 55,000 persons and less than 5% of the result are positive, he hopes that by the time the next prevalence rate is conducted in the state, the prevalence rate will drop down because of the massive HIV interventions programmes carried out in the last 2 years through the help of federal government funding. “The Taraba state government has equally earmarked 600 million naira in the 2017 budget for HIV/AIDS to compliment the federal government Ownership and Sustainability drive” he concluded.