125,000 people living with HIV are accessing antiretrovirals in Nigeria


In 2001, the Nigerian Government government declared an ambitious national treatment antiretroviral target (the drug treatment for HIV/AIDS) to reach 100,000 people by 2003, scaling up to 250 000 by the end of 2006. The ambitious aim was to have 1 million people in treatment by 2009.

A recent report by the The Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, a non government organization in Nigeria showed that there are currently 124,572 PLHAs accessing antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in various centres across the country. Although this means that the number of people on ART has multiplied ten fold since 2002 in Nigeria, but this represents only about one in five of the number who actually need the drugs.

The report also says that the delivery of ARVs response is still predominantly donor driven i.e most of the funds come from development partners.

Hardly any guidelines were found in centers delivering ARVs…implying a diversity of practice depending on the provider. Many sites lacked adequate space for counseling….and did not stock second line drugs for patients failing the first line drug combinations.

The full report can be found here.

The Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria aims to support and help to sustain Health Reform Agenda in the country. The origin of the Foundation was the Change Agent Programme (CAP) which was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Last year it organised a conference on the state of health care in Nigeria. The report of this conference can be found here.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (www.epiafric.com), which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Leave A Reply