In a bid towards increased internal funding, ownership and sustainability of the national response to combat HIV/AIDS in the country, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has seek to partner with the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCCA) and MTN Foundation in Nigeria.
At a meeting which was held to this regard on Wednesday June, 21stat the Access Bank Headquarters in Lagos, had in attendance the DG NACA, Dr. Sani Aliyu, Group MD Access Bank/Co-chair NIBUCCA Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Mr. Nicholas Terraz CEO of Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria/Co-chair NIBUCCA.
NIBUCCA is a coalition of key players in the private sector that has set out its mandate to provide assistance & grants in activities connected to the rehabilitation, treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at the meeting, the DG NACA reiterated the need for such partnership with the private sector noting that with the level of dependency on international funds and dwindling of such, he said the need to look inwards have become mandatory to sustain the HIV/AIDS response in the country. Further speaking, the DG said it was really important to expecting mothers who are positive on drugs and to ensure it is maintained.
Responding, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank/Co-chairman of NIBUCAA, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said that the coalition represents the voice of the private sector in the campaign against HIV/AIDS. He noted that the proposals by NACA in the fight against AIDS is a welcomed development as they will work on avenues to see that the response is improved and sustained.
It was gathered at the meeting that NACA also seek collaboration with the private sector to set up an HIV/AIDS Trust Fund which will be solely managed by the private sector with technical support by the government through NACA as a coordinating agency.
In a similar meeting, the DG NACA also met with executives of MTN Foundation to discuss on how the HIV/AIDS Call Centre currently supported by Etisalat and Airtel can be improved with the involvement of MTN.