Government accountable on expenditure of funds in the fight against HIV in Nigeria.

Media practitioners have been tasked to make government accountable on expenditure of funds in the fight against HIV in Nigeria.
Azzur Media Publisher, PRINCE JOSEPH EZE, gave this advice at a media parley organized by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Abuja on Monday, against the backdrop of limited contribution by government to funding the fight in Nigeria.
Foreign donors, especially the United States Government, provide about 95 per cent of the funds for the treatment of people living with HIV in Nigeria.
Uncomfortable with the situation, Mr Olorunyomi called on journalists, as society watchdogs, to make the government accountable to citizens on health, especially those living with HIV/AIDS.
He made the appeal in the keynote address at the unveiling of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka’s “Keep the Promise” to AIDS video campaign, which set a tone for government and partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
The publisher advised journalists to understand the connection between the HIV community care givers and those working in the front line of HIV/AIDS, as this will enable them do their job better.
Mr Olorunyomi said as journalists, they need to look at where the problem is in order to propound solutions.
He said looking at the varying statistics of about 3.1 to 3.4 million people in 18 states living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, the question journalists should be asking themselves is how they would feel if they suddenly realise that a whole state is the target of the problem the country is facing.
“It is at this interface of the good commitment that I want to try to bring the statutory grounds for us to understand the direction to go. This is the framework in which I am charging my colleagues here to look at this as a serious problem we are dealing with here,” he said.
He challenged health journalism in the country to go back to the first principle of their profession, which is “why do we do journalism?”
Mr Olorunyomi said the Nigerian Constitution itself offers only the media, not the parliament or other institutions, the power to hold all forms of power accountable and as such, journalism needs to be accountability driven.
ARTICLE BY PRINCE JOSEPH EZE.

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