In order to curb the spread of Human Immune Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Virus (AIDS) in Nigeria, Youth and Empowerment Development Initiative (YEDI) has urged government at all level to allocate substantial funds in its budget for the disease.
YEDI during a briefing to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day in collaboration with National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS (NYNETHA) Lagos lamented that funds that are presently available in the country are mostly from foreign donors.
At the programme which had the support of Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), the group asserted that the Nigerian government is paying less attention in arresting the killer disease.
According to them if nothing is done more people would become victims particularly youth thereby leaving the nation in great danger.
Celebrating its outreach impact in providing free HIV testing services to 5,000 people at the grassroots via novelty health football match, the group also called for bridging of gap in the access of youth-friendly services.
It frowned at the unfriendliness of health providers in public hospitals.
“Government at all level should have budget of HIV/AIDS. The current help is from white donors and they might leave one day… There is the need to bridge the access gap between the youths and public hospitals.
“Young people do not have access to youth-friendly services provided by public hospitals because of stigmatisation. We thereby call on the government to ensure the youth access friendly services in our public hospitals,” Mr. Isaac Moses, General Secretary of NYNETHA stated.
Corroborating Moses, Mr. Babamole Olanrewaju, State Coordinator of NYNETHA, said it is high time government and individuals targeted drastic intervention in responding to the epidemic.
“Studies indicate that earlier detection and treatment brings to minimal the risk of transmission to others. Services should be provided as well as the right information at the community level,” Olanrewaju further said.
On her part Tomisin Adeoye, YEDI’s head of programme said in line with this year’s theme for HIV/AIDS Day: “My Health, My Right” that it is essential that all Nigerians living with HIV have access to ARV as the disease is not the end of life if properly managed and dictated earlier.
She added that YEDI is committed to providing health information, access and treatment to the underserved while empowering the youth with holistic approaches.