Two new medical treatment facilities were officially unveiled in Nigeria in late February. AHF Nigeria, in partnership with the Benue State Ministry of Health and Benue State AIDS Control Agency, collaborated on the project.
The initiative is a contribution to Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS response and a part of AHF’s “20×20” campaign, which strives to have 20 million people globally on treatment by 2020. Benue is AHF’s flagship state for operations in Nigeria and has an HIV prevalence of about 15 percent, making it one of the highest in the country.
AHF started providing free HIV/AIDS services at Benue’s Gbajimba General Hospital in 2011. Since then, the one-clinic operation has expanded to 26 facilities across the state. In addition to Benue, five states throughout the country now have treatment facilities, which provide lifesaving medication to over 11,000 patients.
“When AHF Nigeria started five years ago, the hospital was non-operational, and despite being a very hard-to-reach area, AHF commenced services, bringing the hospital back to life,” said Dr. Greg Abiaziem, AHF Nigeria Regional Medical Manager and Benue State lead. “Today Gbajimba has produced four comprehensive sites which save patients the hardship of travelling long distances to get their ARVs [antiretroviral drugs].”
The two new structures were built to accommodate growing patient numbers at existing government facilities. AHF also renovated existing treatment centers in three areas and constructed a new clinic building in Kogi State to deliver additional care.
“With this excellent construction and renovation work, AHF has once again demonstrated their resolve to deliver upon its promises and beyond,” said Benue State Honorable Commissioner of Health Dr. Cecilia Ojabo. “I am glad this has become a reality, and it is certainly a boost to the current administration’s resolve to better the lives of people in the state.”
Dr. Penninah Iutung, AHF Africa Bureau Chief said that as a global standard, AHF works in close partnerships with governments around the world. “My request to the state is continued support for the teams – to enable them to deliver on our mission,” Dr. Iutung said. “To the community leaders, please encourage your members to utilize these facilities and take advantage of the free services we provide. We will continue to work closely with the government, until the war on HIV/AIDS is won.”