The Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA) has urged the Federal Government to initiate comprehensive health interventions to address all communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.
Speaking at the 2019 NISA Conference yesterday in Abuja, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chair of the conference, Dr. Patrick Dakum, noted that NCDs were public health concerns, adding that NISA was considering how the diseases could be addressed through implementation science.
“We are looking at NCDs and how to ensure that implementation is very apt. There are several programmes that address them, but definitely, a comprehensive health intervention is what we need in this country,” he said.
Dakum explained that a key objective of the conference was to ensure increase in low uptake of health service outcomes in collaboration with the public and private sectors. “Implementing partners with public and private sectors, as well as communities are looking at how to increase the uptake of health services. The essence of this is how to ensure that the uptake of services is optimal,” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman of NISA board, Professor Echezona Ezeanolue, stressed the need to identify and place the 1.9 million Nigerians currently estimated to be living with HIV in the country on treatment to stop to its transmission. Ezeanolue observed that $100m, which was used for the Nigerian HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIS) would be wasted, if people living with HIV were not identified and placed on treatment.
“The NAIS study cost $100m to look at how many people actually have HIV in Nigeria and when you get that information, what you do with it is called implementation science.” “So, one of the things we did is that once we have gotten that information and we know exactly where people who live with HIV are living, we want to go there and identify them, so that we can put them on treatment,” he stated.
He added that once someone who has HIV is placed on treatment, it could actually stop transmission from that person to another person, saying, “That is one of the ways we can use the information we get from research to make an impact.
“We must use the research to get the data and information that help us to actually make impact.”
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