Thursday, December 8, 2022

US CDC, Partners Chart Course For Achieving, Sustaining HIV Epidemic Control

The country director, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Mary Boyd.
The country director, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Mary Boyd.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) hosted federal and state ministries of health, Nigerian government officials and HIV programme implementing partners to review the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme 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 address, the 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 FCT.

In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard emphasised the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting partners and expressing her belief that epidemic control would be achieved in Nigeria.

The first day of the two-day programme included presentations from implementing partners Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), APIN Public Health Initiatives and the Centre for Integrated Health Programmes.

The second day brought about discussions for a roadmap for future activities that will create dynamic, equitable and resilient treatment programmes. Integration of the National Clinical Mentorship Programme 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 programme cycle, US CDC will continue to host programmatic review meetings with partners to ensure that high-quality HIV programmes are sustained and that free, life-saving care is available to every Nigerian who needs it.

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