Hope Soars As US CDC Empowers 734,000 Nigerians Against HIV

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The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) Nigeria has revealed that it has positively impacted the lives of 734,000 individuals living with or affected by HIV across 19 states in Nigeria.

The USCDC revealed this through its orphans and vulnerable children programme specialist Dr. Oluremi Oke during a media roundtable held on Friday in Abuja.

During the roundtable, Oke shed light on the substantial support provided by the US CDC, which included the establishment of 771 village savings and loans association (VSLA) groups between October 1, 2022 and September 31, 2023.

Under the theme of ‘Improving Household Resilience and Financial Assets Among Vulnerable Households Through Village Savings and Loans Associations,’ Oke emphasised the holistic approach taken by the US CDC’s orphans and vulnerable children programme. This approach aims to enhance overall well-being and mitigate the impact of HIV on children and families by employing a comprehensive case management strategy.

Highlighting the challenges faced by caregivers due to the financial strain of HIV-related illness and healthcare costs, Oke outlined targeted interventions such as financial literacy training, food support, village savings and loans associations and cash transfers for vulnerable households.

Branch Chief of the continuum of care and treatment at US CDC, Dr. Dennis Onotu underscored the significance of the orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) programme, which is funded by the US Government under the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). He highlighted its effectiveness in targeting the most vulnerable beneficiaries, particularly children and women and its role in unifying and sustaining thousands of families affected by HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

Expressing her gratitude, a beneficiary of the OVC programme, Mrs. Esther Terna shared her personal success story. She credited the VSLAs for empowering her to start a new business, support her daughter’s education and expand her existing business, thanks to the interest accrued from her savings.

The testimonials and statistics presented at the media roundtable underscored the profound impact of US CDC intervention programmes in Nigeria. These programmes not only provide vital support to individuals and families affected by HIV but also empower them to build resilience and secure a brighter future.

As Oke aptly summarised, the US CDC remains steadfast in its commitment to working with communities and partners to enhance the well-being and longevity of its clients, ensuring that hope continues to flourish even in the face of adversity.

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