Abuja – As part of its efforts to deepen private sector involvement in Nigeria’s health sector, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) accepted a contribution from a leading indigenous oil firm Belemaoil Producing Nigeria Limited today to support USAID’s activities to eradicate HIV and AIDS in Akwa Ibom State.
Under an agreement signed on August 13, 2020, Belemaoil will contribute to the provision of 75,000 rapid test kits to Akwa Ibom state government through USAID’s HIV/AIDS program. The kits will specifically be used to test high risk adolescents and young women as well as children to prevent mother-to-child transmission and help health clinics improve antenatal services.
“This collaboration is a great example of USAID’s approach of engaging the Nigerian private sector to develop local solutions to address local problems,” USAID Mission Director Stephen M. Haykin said at the virtual signing ceremony today. “This contribution to fill a critical gap in testing for HIV/AIDS in Akwa Ibom state.”
At the signing, Belemaoil Managing Director Pedro Diaz said: “This contribution is part of our corporate social responsibility commitment to Nigeria and is the start of greater engagement through reputable partners like USAID to support local communities.”
In 2019, USAID tested over 1.8 million people for HIV, and funded treatment for 96 percent of the 80,600 identified as positive. USAID has placed 349,500 HIV-positive Nigerians on treatment and has committed to placing an additional 95,500 on lifesaving therapy, and continues to provide health agencies test kits and medicines, as well as support more than half a million children orphaned or otherwise affected by HIV.