Nigeria committed to AIDS fight

Abuja- Nigeria (PANA) -- Nigeria, host of this week's African Summit on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Related Diseases, has re-stated its commitment to the fight against AIDS.
Health Minister Alphonsus Nwosu told reporters in Abuja the government would Friday launch "HEAP" (HIV Emergency Action Plan), as part of efforts to fast-track its response to the increasing HIV/AIDS cases in the country.
"President Olusegun Obasanjo is committed to the halting of further spread of the disease," Nwosu said.
He cited the recent Presidential order for the purchase of four-million dollars worth of anti-retroviral drugs, to be given to infected persons at a highly-subsidised rate, as a manifestation of Obasanjo's commitment.
Since assuming office 29 May 1999, the Nigerian leader has stepped up measures at tackling the disease, setting up the National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA), under his direct supervision, and increasing the country's budgetary allocation to the fight against the disease.
An estimated 2.
6 Nigerians are said to be infected with the virus that causes AIDS.
The 24-25 April Abuja Summit, is sponsored by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and UNAIDS, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Several African Heads of State, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former US President Bill Clinton are billed to attend the conference, expected to bring high-level attention to the AIDS scourge ravaging the continent.

24 Abril 2001 11:34:00

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