The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) hosted federal and state ministries of health, Government of Nigeria health agency leadership, and HIV program implementing partners to review President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program accomplishments from the last five years in US CDC-supported states and chart a way forward for the coming five years to help Nigeria reach and sustain epidemic control.
In her welcome remarks, US CDC Country Director Dr. Mary Boyd commended states and partners for their collaborative work in attaining quality care for every patient while also accelerating treatment coverage in the country. The surge in the number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) identified and beginning treatment in recent years has moved Nigeria closer to HIV epidemic control than ever before. As of June 2022, US CDC is supporting comprehensive HIV services for about 1.2 million PLHIV in Abia, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Rivers, Gombe, and the Federal Capital Territory.
US Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard also spoke, emphasizing the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting partners and expressing her belief that epidemic control would be achieved in Nigeria.
Day one of the two-day program included overview presentations from implementing partners Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria, the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, APIN Public Health Initiatives, and the Centre for Integrated Health Programs. Day two brought discussion of a roadmap for future activities that will create dynamic, equitable, and resilient treatment programs. Integration of the National Clinical Mentorship Program into the health sector for sustainability and state ownership was also highlighted.
Across both days, awards were presented to individuals, states, and partners who excelled in specific areas of programming and leadership.
Throughout the newly launched program cycle, US CDC will continue to host programmatic review meetings with partners to ensure that high-quality HIV programs are sustained and that free, life-saving care is available to every Nigerian who needs it.
ASR Africa Partners with USAID’s HIV and Tuberculosis Control Efforts in Nigeria
Meanwhile, on October 20, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) accepted a contribution from a leading Nigerian philanthropic organization, Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), to partner on tuberculosis (TB) control and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention efforts in Nigeria.
ASR Africa will provide critical inputs, valued at $500,000, to the national TB and GBV responses. These contributions will expand the impact of USAID’s current programs, implemented through local Nigerian organizations. Specifically, ASR Africa’s contribution will provide: 11 loop-mediated isothermal amplification diagnostic machines, also known as TB-LAMPs, with laboratory reagents and consumables; renovation of 10 Tuberculosis Directly Observed Therapy or DOT centers; and approximately 1,200 dignity kits for survivors of gender-based violence across selected states in Nigeria.
The TB-LAMP diagnostic machines will enable 11 facilities to effectively diagnose TB, which continues to be a challenge in under-resourced health facilities. All individuals diagnosed with these machines will be placed on treatment for TB at the TB DOT centers that will be renovated by ASR Africa. The contribution of dignity kits will also strengthen services for survivors of gender-based violence, including medical and psycho-social services, at Sexual Assault Rescue Centers, also known as SARCs, that are supported through USAID’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.
As part of USAID’s efforts to deepen private sector involvement in Nigeria, the Agency engages with private sector partners in the country to mobilize resources to reduce disease burden and ensure a better quality of life for those affected.
“The private sector holds immense potential to bring about sustainable development results,” HIV/AIDS and TB Office Director USAID/Nigeria, Rachel Goldstein said at the gift acceptance meeting in Abuja. “Each of ASR Africa’s contributions will amplify the impact of USAID’s development programming in Nigeria while demonstrating the opportunity for public-private partnerships to effectively address unmet development needs.”
Presenting the donation letter, Ubon Udoh, Managing Director of ASR Africa said “ASR Africa is committed to the development of Nigeria’s healthcare sector. The end-to-end diagnosis to treatment partnership with USAID will provide additional capacity and expand ongoing efforts aimed at tackling tuberculosis and HIV across Nigeria.”
USAID has partnered with the government of Nigeria on the tuberculosis response since 2000, and the HIV response since 2003. Through these efforts, USAID has contributed to a reduction in tuberculosis related deaths, by nearly 50 percent. Through PEPFAR, USAID is now providing comprehensive life–saving HIV treatment services for over 663,000 people and procuring and delivering medicines for over 1.9 million Nigerians on antiretroviral treatment.