Saraki, UNAIDS Work to Curb Spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

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[L-R] Toyin Saraki, Founder-President, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director and Djibril Diallo, West Africa Regional Head of UNAIDS

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The Wellbeing Foundation and the UNAIDS are exploring ways to check the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

TOYIN Saraki, president, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, WBFA, is discussing with Michel Sidibé, executive director, UNAIDS, the progress that have been made to reduce HIV/AIDS reduction in Nigeria. They duo are also looking at exploring ways to build synergy between both organisations to improve the livelihoods of Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS.

At their meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, Saraki and Sidibe felt the meeting was germane because an estimated 50 percent of people living with HIV in Nigeria are women aged between 15 and above. Saraki said HIV/AIDS should be deemed a critical issue pertaining women’s health in the country. According to her, since 2004, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has worked to refine its interventions to deliver successful solutions to people living with the virus, such as its client-held Personal Health Records, PHRs, which can help in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV.

During the meeting, Saraki said, “I am pleased to share with you that the chief programme officer of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Tajudeen Arowolo recently pronounced Kwara as the only state in the north-central zone of Nigeria with the lowest number of HIV/AIDS cases, and one of the lowest in the country, evidence indeed that our intervention approach that integrates improving social determinants within a continuum of care package, by capacitating the patient as an informed partner, is exceptionally effective.”

To empower people living with HIV/AIDS, PLWHA, and curb the spread of the disease, the foundation established the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund, AUHCF, in partnership with Hygeia Community Health Care – a local health insurance provider – and the PharmAccess Foundation, to fund the insurance premiums of 5,000 people each year including pregnant women, children under five, adolescent girls, people living with HIV and AIDS, and the elderly.

This insurance scheme was in line with the guiding principles of universal health coverage which absorbed the Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s original PLWHA frontline Positive Lifeline Programme which helped thousands of lives affected by HIV/AIDS for 12 years by providing counselling, home-visits and direct healthcare for persons living with HIV/AIDS in north-central Nigeria. The AUHCF continues to play a key role in discovering incidences of PLWHA, while helping them access adequate therapy and much needed medical attention.

— Feb 10, 2016 @ 19:10 GMT

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