By Joy Odor
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) has host 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.