Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA) has commemorated this year’s World Health Day with a webinar tagged: Accelerating the impact of AIDS response in the new normal.
The conference, which featured Zouera Youssoufou, MD/CEO, Aliko Dangote Foundation, as keynote speaker, created awareness on the need for continued investment on HIV/AIDS’ response despite the pandemic. This is to ensure gains made in the fight against the disease pre-COVID-19 were not lost.
Panelists at the webinar included Tope Adeniyi, CEO, AXA Mansard Health, Akinwunmi Fajola, Regional Community Health manager, Shell Nigeria, and Okuns Ohiosimuan, Corporate Medical Services manager, Nigeria LNG Limited. Their discussion centred on how private organisations could invest in the fight against HIV to achieve the national framework on the disease.
NiBUCAA’s CEO, Isaiah Owolabi, highlighted the need for both the public and private sectors to work together to end HIV/AIDS.
“Just like COVID-19, HIV/AIDS directly impacts the development of nations. It is not just a health issue but a development and economic challenge,” he said.
According to Zouera Youssoufou, the need to end the stigma connected to HIV/AIDS is key to ending the disease. And for Adeniyi, the need for investment in healthcare, especially health insurance, is to ensure a fairer, healthier world.”
While Ohiosimuan elucidated on maximising the role of strategic partnerships in HIV/AIDS response, Fajola, however, said: “It takes all of us to bring HIV/AIDS prevalence to zero,” adding that there has to be a clear and coordinated leadership across sectors to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Nigeria has the second largest population of people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa with a national prevalence rate of 1.5 percent.
“Although, giant strides have been made in recent times, much more remains to be done.”