THE 3RD NATIONAL COUNCIL ON AIDS MEETING HELD AT TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL ABUJA, FCT, ON 30 TH -31 ST JANUARY 2017
The 3rd National Council on AIDS with the theme “Taking charge of our destiny held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, on January 30 th – 31 st , 2017. Participants at the two-day National Council of AIDS meeting deliberated on priority policy and programme issues that will enhance the coordination of the national response. The overarching goal of the 3 rd National Council of AIDS was to review HIV/AIDS policy and programme implementation and make recommendations for improved performance, coordination, ownership and sustainability at the national and subnational levels.
243 participants representing stakeholders in the national response attended, including Chairpersons for State Agencies for the Control of AIDS from 35 states, Directors General/Executive Secretaries, representatives of recognized umbrella organizations of civil societies and Non -Governmental Organizations on HIV/AIDS, representatives of umbrella organizations of persons living with HIV/AIDS, media organizations, Youth Organizations, Women Organizations, Faith-based Organizations, Nigerian Labour Congress, Members of the Press, Representatives of Development Partners and Representatives of Implementing Partners.
Memos on policy and programme issues discussed by the Council covered priority areas including governance, prevention, treatment care and support, coordination, sustainability and resource mobilization.
Preceding the Council meeting was a one-day technical meeting during which discussed a total of 78 memos that were received from stakeholders. The technical session deliberated on 77 memos, out of which 17 were recommended for consideration by the Council, 18 were noted for Council’s information, 13 were deferred for modification and representation, and 29 were recommended for withdrawal.
During the Council deliberation, a total of 10 memos were approved out of the 17 that were recommended for consideration. 7 out of 17 were to be merged with a memo that were already approved and 6 out of 17 memos were stepped down.
Arising from the above and further to all the issues considered, the council approved the following resolutions:
1. Council approved the strengthening of human resources accountability, sustainability and efficiency at the states/ (FCT) agencies for the control of aids (SACAs) in the Federation (NCA/03/02A).
2. Council supports the need for tripartite agreement between SACAs, Donors and IPs on donor funded projects (NCA/03/10).
3. Council approved that NACA supports the Coordination of HIV/AIDS control instates affected by the Boko Haram led insurgency (NCA/03/04A).
- Council approved that NACA intensifies advocacy to State Governors in insurgency affected States for internal resource mobilization to complement and sustain donor activities in the State.
- Council approved that NACA sets up a central coordination mechanism with key stakeholders to facilitate the coordination and implementation of HIV/AIDS control in insurgency affected States.
4. Council agreed to formulate policies on HIV in Nigeria that will focus on the disabled persons and prison inmates, wardens and other uniformed personnel (NCA/03/26).
5. Council approved that States should Step-Up Budgetary Releases for HIV/AIDS Response (NCA/03/19B).
6. Council approved the setting up of a specific Trust fund outside the normal budgetary provision (NCA/03/21).
7. Council approved that funding mechanism be put in place to support patients for their chemistry and hematology investigations in all sites (NCA/03/26B).
8. Council approved that women groups should be involved in PMTCT programmes (NCA/03/47).
9. Council supports the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education that addresses the specific needs of Adolescents Living with HIV. (NCA/03/30)
- ALHIV should be represented at relevant state and national technical working groups to ensure integration of issues affecting adolescents and young people.
- Government should have a policy against pre- admission HIV tests and other forms of discrimination against adolescents and young people seeking admission into learning institutions.
- Council proposes a downward review of the age of consent for HIV counselling and testing.
10. Council supports the strategy of using wards as a unit of HIV intervention to provide HTS and the use of HTS community volunteers for mobile HTS in the communities (NCA/03/15).
11. Council approved the Conduct of One Harmonized Comprehensive Population Based National Survey, this is borne out of the need to rebase the epidemiological data for Nigeria (NCA/03/50).
Going forward the Council also agreed that all resolutions should be measurable to track implementation with timelines.