An international financing institution that invests world’s money to save lives – Global Funds – has agreed with Nigeria to provide five grants worth $335 million (N50 billion) to fight AIDS and Tuberculosis in the coming months. This comes in the closing days of 2012 when the organization has given about $3billion in 169 grants this year.
In a statement by the Head of Grant Management Division of the Global Fund, Mark Edington said, “For Nigeria, the grant agreements address a tremendous need: Nigeria has the second highest number of people living with HIV in the world and only 30 per cent of people requiring HIV treatment are receiving antiretroviral therapy. Nigeria has made some big strides and to turn back now is unthinkable, but the challenges are formidable and much remains to be done.”
“There is now an excellent opportunity for Nigeria’s government to close the funding gap for anti-retrovirals. The HIV grants signed today will target ‘most-at-risk populations’ such as female sex workers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users. Also, orphans and vulnerable children, including those infected with HIV and HIV positive mothers who have recently given birth to children and are breast-feeding them.”
“Grant resources will be targeted to achieve a very significant increase in numbers of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy and prevention of mother-to-child-transmission services. The tuberculosis grants will seek to increase awareness of TB and TB/HIV co-infection, help provide increased access to effective treatment services and expand treatment of MDR-TB by strengthening and expanding services.”