By Talatu Maiwada
The U.S Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) said on Friday in Abuja that the organisation has spent over four billion dollars on HIV/AIDS response programme since 2004.
Mr Mahesh Swaminathan, the Country Director said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of a conference on “Partnering for Sustainable HIV Epidemic Control in Nigeria’’.
The conference which was organised by CDC for stakeholders in the health sector across the country, sought to discuss the way forward to tackle HIV and AIDS in the country.
He identified Nigeria as the third largest country in the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFER) programme.
According to him, the programme has contributed about 64 per cent of the total HIV investment in Nigeria, as a major recipient of PEPFAR funds.
“CDC has collaborated with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health to support sustainable, country-owned HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes to strengthen the country’s laboratory diseases surveillance.
“Working with nine comprehensive partners and government of Nigeria in the past five years, we scaled up HIV testing and treatment for HIV positive individuals in high burden local government areas.
“We have developed modified prevention plan for high risk population, intervention to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and provided laboratory support for diagnosis.
“Presently, more than 720,000 people are on PEPFAR-supported HIV treatment, approximately four million people have received HIV counseling and testing services in 2017.
“ HIV prevention messages and activities have reached more than 300,000 people identified as most-at-risk, and approximately 50,000 pregnant women received anti-retroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV,’’ Swaminathan said.
He said that U.S would continue to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health and other partners to ensure higher level of accountability, transparency and impact of the work in Nigeria.
NAN reports that CDC is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) aimed at promoting best practices in public health services for healthy Nigeria citizens through collaboration with the Federal Government and health partners. (NAN)