Group Seeks Health Insurance for PLWHA

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The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has urged the Federal Government to adopt a healthcare insurance scheme for people living with HIV/AIDS instead of depending on donor funds for its treatment and prevention.

The Site Coordinator of AHF Nigeria, Dr. Kema Onu, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

Onu spoke to NAN at an event commemorating the 2017 World AIDS Day celebration, with the theme ‘Increasing impact through transparency, accountability and partnerships’.

Onu noted that adopting the insurance scheme for people living with the disease would create a sustainable means of funding their treatment rather than relying on foreign donor agencies.

He said the insurance would also provide a pool of fund for the purchase of available drugs for free treatment and advocacy programmes for people living with the virus.

He said, “Nigerian government needs to show more commitment to ownership and sustainability of HIV response by developing strategies that would scale up funds.

“This is because the statistics provided by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS shows that one of every three persons living with HIV/AIDS in the country is not on treatment.

“Out of over 3.2 million people living with the virus in Nigeria, only about 800,000 people are on treatment and, out of the 800,000 people on treatment, 750,000 of them are being funded by foreign partners.

“HIV/AIDS has claimed over 35 million lives, with 220,000 deaths being recorded every year despite the facts that the deaths are preventable.’’