FG committed to healthy Nation
The Honourable Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has said that the government of Nigeria is committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS scourge in Nigeria.
He made the statement while addressing the Site/Team Commanders of Nigerian Ministry of Defence – United States Department of Defense (NMOD-USDOD) HIV delegates conference at the Emergency Plan Implementation Committee (EPIC) Liaison Office Abuja.
Senator Obanikoro commended the United States government for partnering with Nigeria in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The NMOD-USDOD programme could be traced to the time of President George W. Bush; he said.
Ambassador Obanikoro said that Nigeria can overcome the problem of HIV/AIDS within the context of President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, which also focuses on health; adding that the present administration is fully committed to funding this project.
The Honourable Minister of State, adviced the Armed Forces to extend the activities of the programme to civilians. He commended the effort of Maj Gen OS Njoku, who was a pioneer staff of the project.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defence EPIC Chairman, Maj Gen TO Umar said that HIV/AIDS is a major public health issue and that the virus is one of the leading causes of death in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Maj Gen Umar said that in 2005 the Nigerian and United States governments established a partnership through the NMOD-USDOD HIV programme to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The programme he said, started with 4 sites but presently has 46 sites, adding that the programme which engages in Clinical Research to combat HIV is extended to other sister African countries.
Maj Gen Umar said that the programme is striving towards ownership and sustainability, which is made possible by the counterpart funding from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In a remark, the Head of the USDOD Water Reed programme in Nigeria, Mr. Robbie Nelson said that Nigeria is not just a recipient of research findings but also a contributor and participant.