Nigeria among 10 Countries to Benefit from NGO Grant.

Fmr DG-NACA, Professor John Idoko (3rd from left), Enda sante Programme Officer; Mrs. Nguissali Turpin (4th from left); UNDP M&E Officer, Mr. David Owolabi (2nd from right) and some Management staff of NACA when representatives of Enda Sante and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) came to NACA on a Technical Assistance Visit to Nigeria with an agenda on Africa Regional HIV Grant Removing Legal Barriers.

01/06/16.NACA Conference Room, Abuja: Nigeria has been named among 10 countries to benefit from grants made available by a Non-Governmental Organization (NG0) named ‘Enda-sante’- based in Senegal.

Enda-sante’ is an organization with a mission set to support diverse population In particular vulnerable groups or key populations, in exercising their rights to access information and adequate health services.

Countries named alongside Nigeria are Botswana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and the Seychelles.

Information regarding the proposed intervention grants Nigeria and other countries are set to benefit was contained in a statement made available when representatives of Enda Sante and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) came to NACA on a Technical Assistance Visit to Nigeria with an agenda on Africa Regional HIV Grant Removing Legal Barriers.

Speaking at the event, a Programme Officer from the NGO, Mrs. Nguissali Turpin stated that Enda sante is a body committed to an African society in which communities, enriched by their knowledge, fully participate in the promotion of healthcare in an environment where social justice and equity thrives”. She noted that their visit to Nigeria was to inform of the planned intervention programme and to get NACA on board for a robust partnership towards actualization of key programmes.

It is reliably gathered that key among Enda sante’s intervention programme will focus on; Access to healthcare, Research and Training, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive and sexual health, as well as Social and Economic Autonomy for Vulnerable groups.

Responding, the DG-NACA, Professor John Idoko who received the team in his office welcomed the team while stating that the visit is a welcome development in NACA’s quest to see an end of AIDS by 2030. He expressed satisfaction that with the proposed intervention by Enda sante in areas related to HIV/AIDS, NACA will ensure a transparent partnership as it will go a long way in curtailing the spread of AIDS via the prevention paradigm of 90-90-90 treatment target.

The 90-90-90 AIDS project is an ambitious treatment targeted to help end AIDS where by 2030, 90% of people living with HIV will know their status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive  sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving anti-retroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

Speaking on his part, Mr. David Owolabi, of the UNDP informed that principles supporting the working guidelines will ponder on; Respect of diversity/Culture, Principle of Accountability/Responsibility, Transparency, Tolerance and Commitment. This he said will form basis for an effective project in achieving positive results.

Reports gathered inform that Enda sante’s intervention strategies will focus on two areas to do with Medical support where it aims at contributing to the reduction of HIV/AIDS prevalence and transmission among vulnerable groups. The second deals on Monitoring and Intervention whereby activities will revolve in capacity building of various projects through quality data collection. To this, Mrs. Nguissali said “it will provide a better understanding of projects results while focussing on weakness to improve”.

Key among beneficiaries when the intervention project starts are; Registered and unregistered sex workers, People Living with HIV (PLHIV), Women victims of violence, Vulnerable orphaned children, Women of reproductive age and Girl vendors.

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Here in Nigeria, we have recorded a steady decline in HIV prevalence from a peak of 5.8 per cent in 2001 to 3.0 per cent in 2014, But this has not been an easy ride and challenges still exist – condom use is still too low and covers less than half of our need in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a dearth of knowledge on HIV among young people, with only a third having enough HIV knowledge to safeguard themselves

Dr. Sani Aliyu