Birnin Kebbi – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) accepted a gift donation from IHS Towers, an international communications infrastructure company, to leverage efforts towards eradicating HIV and AIDS in Kebbi State. The donation of 75,300 HIV rapid test kits is part of USAID’s engagement of the private sector in Nigeria’s health sector.
The contribution from IHS Towers will strengthen ongoing U.S. government efforts in Kebbi State to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The test kits will support antenatal clinic services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and provide critical HIV testing services to numerous young children and other at-risk groups.
“Our goal is to collaborate with the Government of Nigeria to achieve epidemic control while creating a sustainable framework for HIV in Nigeria,” said Deputy Director HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis office USAID/Nigeria, Omosalewa Oyelaran, at the handover ceremony. “Today’s partnership with IHS Towers will help build the country’s capacities to be more self-sustaining and encourage local solutions.”
Kebbi State is the second state in Nigeria to benefit from this partnership with IHS, which builds on a previous contribution in Bayelsa state.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor of Kebbi State, Samaila Dabai, said “these rapid test kits will help to effectively manage the HIV and AIDS elimination program in the state and will help improve access to quality healthcare to the people of state.”
The United States government, through USAID, provides comprehensive care and treatment services for 691,000 people living with HIV across 17 states and distributes lifesaving antiretroviral medicines to 1.9 million Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS. In Kebbi State, USAID through the Accelerating Control of the HIV Epidemic Project, provides HIV care and treatment services to more than 16,000 adults and children.