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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02ABUJA3346 2002-12-19 16:11:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

NIGERIA: MINISTER OF HEALTH PLEDGES

Tags:   KSCA OPDC OSCI PREL SOCI TBIO TSPL KHIV NI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 003346 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: 12/17/12
TAGS: KSCA OPDC OSCI PREL SOCI TBIO TSPL KHIV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MINISTER OF HEALTH PLEDGES
COOPERATION ON THE PRESIDENT'S INTERNATIONAL
MOTHER AND CHILD HIV/AIDS INITIATIVE

REF: STATE 241028


CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR HOWARD F. JETER FOR
REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)




1. (SBU) On December 16, Ambassador Jeter,
accompanied by USAID Acting Director, USAID
HIV/AIDS Officer and CDC/Nigeria Statistician,
presented the joint letter from Secretaries
Powell and Thompson on the President's
International Mother and Child HIV/AIDS
Initiative (reftel) and delivered the steering
committee's survey to GON Minister of Health,
A.B.C. Nwosu.




2. (SBU) The Minister received the letter and
talking points with enthusiasm and thanked
President Bush and the people of the United
States for the Initiative. Citing his personal
commitment to the success of the program, Nwosu
said that combating HIV/AIDS is one of his
Ministry's core objectives. The Minister said he
appreciated the Initiative's focus on mother and
child transmission because it reinforces his
position that HIV/AIDS should be viewed as more
than a sexually transmitted disease and he has
reorganized the Ministry to reflect this.




3. (SBU) Nwosu promised the full cooperation of
the Ministry and suggested the establishment a
joint committee between the Ministry of Health
and the USG, whose Nigerian counterparts he
immediately named. The Minister was hopeful that
the Mother and Child HIV/ AIDS Initiative would
support the GON's efforts to determine the
actual size of their HIV positive population.
Nwosu added that President Obasanjo recently
asked the Ministry for an accurate count of the
HIV population in the country, which they began
by surveying a population of 600,000. The real
gap in HIV/AIDS health services is in rural
areas, the Minister said. To be worthwhile, this
Initiative must have a broad reach that includes
those areas.




4. (C) The Ambassador also briefed the Minister
on the proposed POTUS visit to the National
Hospital for a HIV/AIDS event. The Minister will
play a leading role in welcoming POTUS to the
National Hospital. Nwosu was optimistic that a
POTUS visit to Nigeria and the HIV/AIDS
initiative may encourage the Presidency to
release much needed funding for HIV/AIDS. Nwosu
admitted, however, that he is reluctant to
accept any funding until he has a plan that will
result in success.




5. (SBU) Comment: The Minister welcomed this
initiative and demonstrated his willingness to
go beyond rhetoric to support it. The GON
acknowledges that HIV/AIDS is a serious problem
in Nigeria but they still lack a consensus plan
to confront it. The President's initiative is a
welcome opportunity for the GON to develop a
plan of action to prevent mother-to-child
transmission and it will be received in Nigeria
with great enthusiasm.


JETER