US, Nigeria Forge Stronger Healthcare Alliance, Invest Over $600 Million In 2023

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The United States government has announced a significant partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria to fortify the fight against HIV and advance healthcare initiatives.

This was reinforced through a published statement made available to the press on Thursday, wherein the United States government revealed an investment of over $600 million in health assistance in Nigeria in 2023, as part of the Nigeria-US collaboration on health assistance.

The substantial health assistance encompasses the provision of approximately 83 million insecticide-treated bed nets, 22 million malaria preventive treatments during pregnancy, 164 million fast-acting malaria medicines, and insecticide spraying 121,000 homes. Highlighting their commitment, the U.S. government reported administering over 102 million rapid diagnostic tests for malaria and offering health assistance to an estimated 2 million people living with HIV in Nigeria, out of the global total of about 39 million.

According to the statement, “U.S. partnerships on health in Nigeria have saved millions of lives, strengthened health systems and better prepared Nigeria and the region for current and future health security threats. The US is proud to work in partnership with Nigeria to advance these shared public health goals.”

The United States government emphasised its pivotal role in preventing malaria, a leading cause of death in Nigeria. Malaria deaths in Nigeria have seen a 55 per cent reduction since 2000, thanks to collaborative efforts. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has been instrumental in providing nearly 83 million insecticide-treated bed nets, 22 million malaria preventive treatments during pregnancy, and 164 million fast-acting malaria medicines since 2011. Additionally, insecticide has been provided to spray 121,000 homes and over 102 million rapid diagnostic tests for malaria have been administered.

On the front of ending HIV, the U.S. and Nigeria have joined forces to combat HIV as a public health threat by 2030. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has played a crucial role in expanding HIV treatment, reducing HIV transmissions and providing over $8.3 billion in total investments in Nigeria’s national HIV response. In 2023 alone, PEPFAR resources supported over 12 million people with HIV counselling and testing services, over 2 million pregnant women with HIV counselling and testing services and more than 1.8 million people living with HIV with TB/HIV services. The efforts extended to providing care and support services to more than 1.5 million orphans and vulnerable children.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States assisted Nigeria in vaccinating 70 per cent of its eligible population. Beyond COVID-19, the U.S. government supports Nigeria in controlling, eliminating, and eradicating other vaccine-preventable diseases. This support has included the donation of 44 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccination of 2,145,063 children for polio in security-compromised areas and the introduction of four new vaccines for children, including rotavirus, IPV2, measles and HPV.

Highlighting the importance of global health security, the U.S. government underscored its collaborative efforts with the Nigerian government to strengthen health security capacities. Numerous U.S. government agencies are partnering with Nigeria to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from emerging public health threats. These initiatives include the establishment of a public health emergency management programme, training emergency managers, enhancing Nigeria’s national disease surveillance systems and developing Nigeria’s laboratory diagnostics to quickly detect and respond to outbreaks of various infectious diseases.

The strategic alliance between the United States and Nigeria in healthcare not only reflects a substantial financial investment but also emphasises the shared commitment to saving lives, improving health systems and building resilience against global health challenges. The proactive measures undertaken by both governments demonstrate a dedication to fostering a healthier future for the people of Nigeria and beyond.

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