Abuja - Resident Doctors in the Federal Capital Territory will on Tuesday march to the Federal Ministry of Health to demand immediate treatment for all people diagnosed with HIV infection in the country.
They also want government to improve access to free HIV testing and other laboratory services at primary healthcare centres and place a levy on government contracts to help sustain Nigeria’s AIDS response through domestic funding.
Under the umbrella of the Association of Resident Doctors in the Federal Capital Territory (ARD-FCT), the Medical Doctors are convinced that it is possible for Nigeria to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 if adequate investments are made to achieve the 90-90-90 treatment target during the next five years and to sustain that success until the end of 2030.
“This advocacy road walk is intended to draw attention of Nigerian health authorities and citizens to the reality that immediate treatment must be made available to anyone diagnosed with HIV infection.
"This is the only way the country can ensure that people living with HIV enjoy healthy, productive, dignified social lives and reduce chances of infecting their partners or children” said the President of Resident Doctors in the Federal Capital Territory, Dr Isaac Olubanjo Akerele.
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The 90-90-90 is an ambitious treatment target set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to ensure that, by 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV shall receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
As part of its 2015 Annual Health Week, the ARD-FCT five kilometre advocacy road walk shall commence at Old Parade Ground in Area 10 and end at the Federal Ministry of Health Headquarters in Abuja, where the Resident Doctors will hand a petition with their demands to the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
“I would like to thank His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, for calling upon all Nigerians to join hands and bring the AIDS epidemic to an end by 2030," said UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria and UNAIDS Focal Point for the ECOWAS, Dr Bilali Camara.
"The commitment of the Association of Resident Doctors to implement the
90-90-90 target is a real sign that Nigerians have taken the President’s call to action seriously and are eager to keep Nigeria on track to make AIDS history in the next 15 years,” Camara added.
The ARD-FCT started in 1995 to help address challenges that were being faced by doctors in the employment of Federal Capital Territory. It is composed largely of career medical officers and advances several objectives, including the promotion of improvement in healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
The Association observes a health week annually to interact, build capacity and give back to society by offering free medical outreach to vulnerable communities.
- CAJ News