– The protesters are under the aegis of Society for Women and Children Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (SOWCHAN)
– They were protesting against the poor attitude of the Federal Government towards the funding of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria
The first National Conference on HIV Prevention in Nigeria was disrupted yesterday, November 30 by protesters under the aegis of Society for Women and Children Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (SOWCHAN).
The speech of the minister of state, Dr Osagie Enahire was disrupted by the minister
The SOWCHAN members ran towards a podium where the minister of state for health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, was billed to deliver a keynote address and almost disrupted his speech.
The protesters action was informed by the poor attitude of the federal government towards the funding of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, The Punch reports.
SOWCHAN called on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint one of the people living with HIV/AIDS to an office to be created by the government to be known as Office of the Special Adviser to the President on HIV/AIDS.
The conference, with the theme, ‘Hands-on for HIV Prevention,’ was organised by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, and other local and international organisations, seeking to proffer further solutions to tackling the disease.
The spokesperson for the organisation, Mrs. Enya Attah, who has lived with the HIV/AIDS for 20 years described the protest as “a wake-up call on the government to take full ownership of HIV funding.”
She continued:“There should be political will by both the federal and state governments to truthfully implement the many strategic plans and research recommendation developed by NACA.
“Nigeria is heavily dependent on external donor to about 75 per cent, while domestic financing is 25 percent.
“There is dwindling global funding for HIV in developing countries; the Nigerian government must bridge this funding gap.”
Citing the testimony by an unnamed medical worker in its report, HRW quotes the health practitioner as saying those infected with HIV in one IDP camp rose from 200 to 500, with more cases unreported, over fear of stigmatisation.