Nigeria begins using anti-retrovirials in September

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- Nigeria's increasingly serious fight against HIV/AIDS pandemic is set to move to a crucial stage with the scheduled start of the government-supervised use of anti-retroviral drugs in the country from September.
The local press reported Thursday that Nigeria's Health Minister, Alphonsus Nwosu, announced the decision in Abuja while receiving the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on AIDS, Stephen Lewis, who is currently visiting the country.
Nwosu said the use of the four-million-dollar worth of anti-retroviral drugs ordered by the government earlier in the year would start 1 September at 52 hospitals selected for the project.
He said 15,000 people who are living with HIV/AIDS, including 10,000 adults and 5,000 children, would participate in the initial phase, for which medical officials to dispense the drugs and monitor the patients are currently being trained.
The adult patients will pay a token fee for their drugs, to be subsidised by 80 percent, while all the children will be treated free.
An estimated 2.
6 million Nigerians are said to be infected with the disease.

26 july 2001 11:08:00

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