The Federal Government of Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) with the United States Government on the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact assessment Survey (NAIIS).
The Survey which is expected to be the largest household survey ever done in Africa would give excellent information on Nigerian Government’s effort towards HIV/AIDS tracking and showcase to the world the country’s ability to spend funds donated by US, Global fund and other partners in a judicious and responsible manner.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said that the survey would not only make Nigeria the first country to undertake such exercise but that researches are on-going towards finding cure for HIV/AIDS would also assist in driving the country to cure HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.
The Minister said ‘’the survey will not only cover tracking, testing and treating of people living with HIV/AIDS but also people living with Hepatitis. Designer drugs are coming on board coupled with the effective treatment which is already on ground’’
The sole aim is to determine the number of people living with these diseases in Nigeria, as such, keeping Nigeria blank when it comes to HIV/AIDS data will soon be a thing of the past; Adewole assured.
He also said that government was committed to making sure the scientific process worked so that it could be owned as a Nigerian project.
In his response, the US Ambassador, Mr. W. Stuart Symington, said there had not been a greater opportunity for every Nigerian to come and make Nigeria healthier than through the partnership. Describing the signing of the MOU as a visible representation of partnership at work, Symington called on Nigerians to make the survey a success. ‘Invest in Nigeria and watch Nigerians invest in their country’’ the Ambassador advised.
Speaking earlier, the Director General, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Dr. Sanni H. Aliyu, said the signing of the MoU was a major landmark for HIV/AIDS national response because the Federal government had taken a major decision to track and tackle the disease in Nigeria.
He maintained that the exercise would be completed and data made available before the end of the current administration.