Abuja, Nigeria (PRWEB) December 3, 2004
On December 1st, World AIDS Day, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Nigeria announced that Family Health International (FHI) will be among those leading the expansion of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis treatment, care and prevention programs in Nigeria. The US$ 193 million, five-year award is part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and will be the largest comprehensive HIV/AIDS project ever implemented in a developing country setting.
The Global HIV/AIDS Initiative Nigeria (GHAIN) will support the Emergency Plan's goals to provide life-saving antiretroviral treatment to more than 68,000 persons, provide HIV care to more than 1,500,000 persons, including orphans and vulnerable children, while preventing 800,000 new infections by 2009.
"While the statistics are sobering, I am confident that together we will succeed in our efforts, because of our strong, bilateral partnership in the fight against AIDS that we are strengthening today," remarked US Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell at the launch ceremony attended by President Obasanjo of Nigeria, members of government, traditional rulers, Muslim and Christian religious leaders, civil society groups, people living with HIV/AIDS and others.
The project's goals will be accomplished by rapidly strengthening and expanding a wide range of services throughout six high prevalence states. The comprehensive program will improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and communities, including orphans and vulnerable children, by providing HIV clinical care, antiretroviral therapy, palliative care and home-based care services to people in need.
Dr. Peter Lamptey, President of FHI's Institute for HIV/AIDS, stated, "FHI is very proud to be a partner in this historic effort. We are confident that together with the Government of Nigeria, the US agencies, and our accomplished team of partners, we will succeed in meeting the Emergency Plan goals for Nigeria to improve lives and bring hope."
The FHI-managed GHAIN project includes team members from the public and private sectors: the American National Red Cross/ Nigerian Red Cross Society, the Axios Foundation, the Centre for Development and Population Activities, the Futures Group, the German Leprosy and TB Relief Agency, and Howard University. Other partners include the Christian Health Association of Nigeria, and the Corporate Council on Africa, the International Labour Organization, and the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria.
The project activities will be developed with communities and other stakeholders. Services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, STI prevention and treatment, and communication programs will further the goal of HIV prevention in Nigeria. GHAIN will work closely with other U.S. Government implementing partners, including the Institute of Human Virology/ University of Maryland.
NigeriaÂwith a population of approximately 133 millionÂhas one of the most rapidly increasing rates of new HIV infections in West Africa. More than 3.6 million adults and children are thought to be living with the virus. In 2003, 310,000 people in Nigeria died from AIDS-related complications.
Family Health International is dedicated to improving lives, knowledge and understanding worldwide through a highly diversified program of research, education and services in family health and HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment. Since its inception in 1971, FHI has formed partnerships with national governments and local communities throughout the developing world to support lasting improvements in the health of individuals and the effectiveness of entire health systems. FHI has a staff of 1,400 and offices in 38 countries.
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Hunter, External Relations Officer
Dr. James Ross, FHI/GHAIN Chief of Party