The Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA) has commemorated the 2021 World Health Day to create awareness on global health challenges.
The virtual conference tagged “Accelerating the Impact of AIDS Response in the New Normal” created awareness on the need for continued investment in HIV AIDS response despite the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that gains made in the fight against HIV pre-COVID-19 were not lost.
At the webinar, the panelists also discussed how private organizations could invest in the fight against HIV to achieve the national framework on HIV in Nigeria. The webinar featured Zouera Youssoufou, the MD/CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation as keynote speaker.
Panelists at the event included Tope Adeniyi, CEO, AXA Mansard Health, Dr Akinwunmi Fajola, Regional Community Health Manager, SHELL Nigeria, and Dr. Okuns Ohiosimuan, Corporate Medical Services Manager, Nigeria LNG Limited.
Isaiah Owolabi, NiBUCAA CEO, highlighted the need for both the public and private sectors to work together to end HIV and AIDS while giving his welcome note at the webinar.
He said, “Just like COVID-19, HIV, and AIDS directly impact the development of nations. HIV AIDS is not just a health issue; it is a development and economic challenge.”
Zouera Youssoufou said that the need to end the stigma connected to HIV/AIDS is key to ending HIV.
Tope Adeniyi said, “We need to make sure everyone has health insurance and that HIV is covered for everyone to ensure that everyone has access to HIV testing and treatment.”
Dr Akinwumi Fajola, one of the panelists who extensively spoke on Scaling up effective interventions for HIV/AIDS in the new normal, said, “it takes all of us to bring HIV/AIDS prevalence to zero.”
Dr. Okuns Ohiosimuan, highlighted how to maximise the role of strategic partnerships in HIV/AIDS Response, saying there has to be a clear and coordinated leadership across sectors to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS.
He said, “while we need to focus on rendering people into a non-transmissible state, no aspect of HIV management and prevention is less than the other, education is important and data has to be shared”.
NiBUCAA is a coalition of over 30 leading businesses spanning all Nigerian economies’ sectors with a commitment to galvanise and coordinate private-sector efforts to end the HIV and AIDS pandemic.