A Case for Investing in HIV-Sensitive Social Services for Vulnerable Children in Nigeria

Shar Kurtishi, David Akpan, Tapfuma Murove, Kelley Bunkers, & Doreen Magaji - Journal of Poverty, Investment and Development


HIV and AIDS are reported to be one of the leading causes of death in Nigeria, behind other child-related death illnesses – influenza and pneumonia (CDC, 2013). The presence of HIV and AIDS in a family, including related orhpanhood because of the disease has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of children. It also dramatically impacts the long-term implications and costs to society. However, there remains a notable disparity between the contributions made by different actors – including all levels of the Nigerian government, international donors, private organizations and civil society. A desk review was conducted to examine the current gaps in investment related to care and treatment for children living with or affected by HIV. Findings reveal that foreign funding declined from 82 – 71% for financing of HIV related programming and interventions. While there seems to be some progress compared to increased contributions to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) programming from domestic sources (e.g., government and private sector), this comes at the same time when there is a decline in foreign donor support towards the issue. Conversely, private sector contributions to OVC issues remain an untapped resource in Nigeria. Therefore, there is a need for an investment case to clear articulate and advocate for increased financial support for an HIV sensitive social service system that can adequately address and respond to the needs of vulnerable children.