Lagos and Abuja — Senate President Bukola Saraki has inaugurated the National Coalition Against AIDS (NASSCOA) to curb HIV/AIDS scourge by 2030.
Speaking yesterday at the inauguration in Abuja, Saraki who was represented by the Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan noted that the right to health was a fundamental human right, adding that citizens must take part in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Saraki who disclosed that over 10 million Nigerians currently know their HIV status noted that government was working hard to make the country free from the scourge by 2030.
He said that the implementation of the National Health in 2018 would become feasible with the National Assembly's intervention.
"We must live no one behind in this campaign against HIV, especially children from the ages of 10 and above," he said.
Speaking, Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Disease, Mao Ohuabunwa decried stigmatisation and discrimination of persons living with HIV/AIDS.
He stressed the need to enact laws to punish those who stigmatise and discriminate against persons living with the condition.
Meanwhile, Total Upstream companies in Nigeria and the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA) at the weekend formally launched HIV/AIDS awareness campaign for secondary schools in Lagos State.
This was part of programmes to drive awareness on the universal health coverage goals to commemorate the World AIDS Day 2017.
The campaign is aimed at helping youths - secondary school students to develop life skills that will enhance healthy behaviour, empowering the girl-child with assertive, decision making skills on family life education, and equipping them with updated information on reproductive health-related issues.
Speaking at the launch held at Dairy Farm Secondary School, Agege, Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Nicolas Terraz highlighted the essence of the World AIDS Day 2017 with the theme: Right To Health.
"At Total, we cannot agree more with the theme of this year's campaign. Just as all children have a right to education, we all have a right to health. HIV/AIDS has been a great dilemma globally over the past decades. It is a concern that, up till now, the prevalence rate remains high due to negligence and ignorance of the public."
He added that to the World Health Organisation (WHO), prevention was not only better than cure, but was cheaper and prevents complications.
Acting Executive Secretary of NiBUCAA, Gbenga Alabi called for intensified efforts in putting an end to AIDS by 2030.
He urged the students to join the Anti-AIDS Club to be established at Dairy Farm Secondary School, Sango Senior Secondary School and Keke Senior Secondary School respectively, which were presented with HIV&AIDS tool kits.