By Ogundele Olanrewaju
All is set for the launching of 62.1 Billion Naira Private Sector Stakeholders led HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria (HTFN ) , scheduled for Tuesday, February First , this year in Abuja .
The fund raising project coordinated by the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDs ( NiBUCCA ) is in line with the recommendations of the Nigeria National Agency for the Control of Aids ( NACA ) on prevention of the disease.
The Trust Fund’s Managing Director and Executive Officer, Dr. Jekwu Ozoemene disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists .
Dr. Ozoemene , who revealed that the HTFN remains a sustainable financial mechanism for the mobilization and deployment of domestic private sector resources , aimed at Preventing Mother to Child Transmission ( PMTCT ) of HIV in Nigeria .
The finance expert opined that the HTFN is key to helping Nigeria achieve the UNAIDS 95-95-95 strategy of Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030; achieving 95% diagnosed among all people living with HIV (PLHIV), 95% on antiretroviral therapy (ART) among diagnosed, and 95% virally suppressed (VS) among treated.
According to the statement ” The HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria will improve efforts to ensure coverage of high-IMPACT HIV interventions that will provide the requisite treatment for HIV positive mothers, while contributing to closing the funding gap for HIV in Nigeria that currently stands at about U$108 Million per annum.
The statement also reads :
The Trust Fund’s investment will improve maternal health and reduce child mortality (especially in the rural and peri-urban communities) in Nigeria through programs focused on awareness creation on PMTCT, HIV prevention education for women who are in their reproductive age, and the provision of testing services and antiretrovirals for HIV positive pregnant and infected babies”
The Trust Fund is currently Chaired by Dr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc.
Other Board of Trustee members include; Mr. Mike Sangster, the Managing Director of TotalEnergies Exploration and Production Nigeria; Alhaji Aliko Dangote GCON, Chairman, Board of Trustees , Dangote Foundation and President of the Dangote Group; Engineer Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria- SPDC, and the Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria; Dr. Lars Richter, Managing Director/CEO Julius Berger Nigeria Plc; Dr. Gambo Aliyu, Director General National Agency for the Control of AIDS – NACA; and Dr. Sani Aliyu, immediate past Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS – NACA.
The Board of Trustees is supported by a sterling Board Advisory Committee.