Nigeria assures of genuine anti-retroviral drugs

Abuja- Nigeria (PANA) -- Nigeria's National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has dispelled speculations that the anti-retroviral drugs being used in the country may not be as potent as the ones being used in developed countries.
"Let me assure Nigerians that the drugs we are using here in Nigeria is of the same quality with the ones that are used in the developed countries,'' NACA Director-General Babatunde Osotimehin, said in Abuja Wednesday while receiving the visiting UK parliamentary Undersecretary of state for international development, Gillian Merron.
''Of course names might differ and because of the issue of cost we might not be buying branded drugs, but in terms of.
what it does when it is taken, it has the same effect,'' Osotimehin said.
He said NACA had also insisted that the Nigerian manufacturers of the anti-retroviral drugs should ensure that they were WHO listed so that they could compete in the market place.
Earlier, Merron had said the United Kingdom government was spending £710 million to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, where an estimated 3 million people are infected with the HIV virus.
The visiting UK parliamentary official said the UK considers Nigeria very strategic in curbing the spread of HIV virus in Africa considering its sheer size and population.
"We know that there about three million people that are infected by the HIV/AIDS in Nigeria and one in every eight people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa is a Nigerian.
So, we know that the challenge is considerable and we have seen changes and improvements particularly over the last five years.
''We are increasing our collaboration with NACA and stepping our work especially in prevention of infection.
There are many challenges which included evidence and we need to focus on change behaviour as we extend education on how to prevent infection,'' she said,

10 july 2008 07:59:00

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