Civil Society For HIV/AIDs in Nigeria


Dr. Remi Obinatu (Chairman Governing Council CiSHAN)
For many years to come, CiSHAN will remain a formidable platform to truly mobilize civil society contributions to the National HIV/AIDS response in Nigeria. Having initially assumed critical roles especially at the states and local levels, the organization maintains a place as a resource and capacity reservoir. CiSHAN efforts have ensured that most of the states AIDS committees are transformed to agencies. Also, governments at the state level have been engaged, lobbied and/or pressurized to live up to their responsibility by contributing their counterpart fund to the World Bank HIV and AIDS Fund implemented in most states of Nigeria.

There is no argument as to whether the Civil Society for HIV and AIDS in Nigeria has laid the foundations for the establishment of other networks of CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and other individual organizations who thrive as development and change actors in Nigeria today. It is worthy of note that these tangible outcomes are a result of the immeasurable contributions of CiSHAN membership that is spread all over the country.

As a national organization, CiSHAN positions a national office to ensure proper coordination of its programs and actions, promote her good image and facilitate interactions with other national and international allies. The ultimate intention therefore, is to give CiSHAN members with somewhat diverse interest but same purpose a national identity to pursue targets aimed at getting to zero.

To this extent, the national office has been the portal for engagement in initiating and implementing programs in line with the aspirations of the civil society. The activities also, at this office over the years have had a major influence on the national HIV and AIDS response in Nigeria.

Externally, the paucity of funds for HIV/AIDS interventions has made donor to country relation and politics among implementing partners dirty, CiSHANs' attempts to raise funds to support her new engagement pattern and philosophy in the circumstance has set her in contest with her members and other constituencies who are exposed to same opportunities and believes that the network has misappropriated her supposed goodwill.

It is this barrage of misunderstandings, internal and external conflicts that tends to undermine the good sense behind CiSHANs' mission.

However, considering the place of civil societies in health interventions especially for HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, the need for a fully mobilized and to a large extent organized civil society group like CiSHAN cannot be over emphasized.
As the world moves toward adopting the sustainable development goals by the beginning of 2016 and as Nigeria continue to consider the options for a sustainable HIV and AID response, it is important that CiSHAN members and all her partners clearly understand and appreciate CiSHANs' position in the response and support efforts that uphold her mandate in order to set clear targets for the civil society in realizing the SDGs.

To this extent therefore and in realization of her mandate as the voice of CSOs in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, CiSHAN shall henceforth;

  • Strengthen existing structures and ensure functional systems; for CiSHAN to be effective, all, states and zonal chapters shall be supported to function by ensuring that CiSHAN offices at these levels continue to exist and communication between the chapters and the national office is enriched for optimum performance.
  • Assume increasing roles in the National response: CiSHANs’ involvement in the National response shall be heightened with the intent to reasonably mobilize and sustain support to her member organizations. Also, CiSHAN shall move to ensure that governments at the state and local levels either constitute or fund the various AIDS agencies. This will promote a sense of self worth for CSOs who would in turn make the most of their contributions to the National HIV and AIDS response.
  • Increase partnerships: Responding to the HIV epidemic continue to present diverse challenges. CiSHAN will increase partnership in terms of building new alliances and extending hands of fellowship in the civil society arena. This is important especially because HIV and AIDS issues are not presently being considered as standalone both in National and international health policies and documents.
  • Double participation: For some years, a coordinated civil society stance on HIV and AIDS issues has been virtually not existent. This has been responsible for the poor commitment by stakeholders especially governments at the various levels to ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Active participation in National and international conferences, meetings and sympozia will build the capacity of CiSHAN members to lead the civil society response in line with international best practices and expectations.

The Civil Society for HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN) remains is committed taking up the initiative of getting to zero and ensuring that Nigeria becomes the first country in Africa to truly fight HIV and AIDS to finish through commitments made by the Nigerian people.


Governing Council Board of Trustees

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