By Mustapha Yauri
The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has resolved to relocate its Kano U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) operations to Rivers in a renewed effort to control HIV/AIDS in the oil rich state.
“Rivers is where more efforts are needed to achieve control of HIV/AIDS epidemic,’’ Mr Dennis Mordi, Senior Manager Communications, Programme Communication and Treatment Awareness Unit of IHVN, said on Sunday in Abuja.
The relocation of the office, he explained, became imperative following the recent unveiling of the findings of Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) by the federal government and its partners.
He quoted the Chief Executive Officer, IHVN, Dr Patrick Dakum, that the survey report by the federal government and its partners was highly commendable.
Dakum noted that NAIIS was one of the largest population-based HIV/AIDS survey in the world that focused on households and communities.
He said that as one of the leading development agencies providing HIV intervention programmes in the country, “IHVN is happy to have supported the NAIIS in providing laboratory support”.
He added that IHVN would continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to bring HIV/AIDS epidemic under control with all the support from PEPFAR through U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
He commended the Federal Ministry of Health, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and other implementing partners for this go-getting survey.
According to Dakum, the survey has also shown the steady advancement attained so far in providing prevention, treatment and support services to people living with HIV in the country.
Similarly, the statement quoted the Chief Operating Officer IHVN, Mr Charles Mensah as saying that the survey has shown very cheering news in the fight to halt the spread of HIV in the country.
He added that the low prevalence observed was the result of the hard work of past years in prevention, care and treatment.
According to Mensah, the experiences of the past will be used by IHVN to ensure future success, stressing that all available resources will be put to effective and efficient use to achieve epidemic control in Rivers.
IHVN was established in 2004 as a local organisation to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in Nigeria through the development of infrastructure for treatment, care, prevention and support for people living with and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
The organisation has now expanded its services to other infectious diseases including TB, malaria and cancers.
IHVN is structured to develop and maintain linkages with local and international organisations in collaborative ways that support the Government of Nigeria’s health sector strategic plans.