There is high indications that the privilege being enjoyed by Person Living With HIV/AIDS, especially in the areas of free drugs, would soon be cut short following the withdrawal of foreign donors from the HIV/AIDS programmes.
The Taraba State Coordinator of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections Control Programme, Dr. Musa Obadiah, who made the observation yesterday in Jalingo shortly after an assessment tour of health facilities in the state by the NACA/SURE-P media team, was of the view that should the federal government fail to sustain the programme, the next available option is for those living with the ailment to assist government by contributing their little quota to the survival of the programme.
Citing persons living with other ailments such as diabetics and cancers that have been purchasing their drugs without government assistance, persons living with HIV/AIDS as stated by him “need to sensitise their members” on the need “to begin to contribute,” adding that “they should begin to support the government to take care of them.”
Though optimistic that the Nigerian government has the capacity to sustain the programme, he suggested that all hands, especially those of the persons living with the disease must be on deck peradventure the government fail.
Believing that there is a “transfer of responsibility from the FHI to the Nigeria government,” he admonished HIV/AIDS persons not to be perturbed as government is up to the task, assuring that the “HIV/AIDS people have not been abandoned.”
Noting that for the first time in history, the Taraba State government in its budget gave much recognition to HIV/AIDS, he beckoned on other state governments to take cue, as that would as well go a long way to assist to bring to reality the current HIV/AIDS strategy, which he said is hinged on 90-90-90.
Some of the doctors who spoke on the issue included the Chief Medical Director of the state Specialist Hospital, Rimande U. Joel, the ART focal person of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Jalingo, Aisha Adamu, the PMO of the first referral hospital located in Ardo-Kola council, to mention but just a few.
They however collectively agreed that for the government dream of whiping off HIV/AIDS from the country, all relevant assistance needed for the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT)