ABUJA, Nigeria--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has officially unveiled two newly constructed facilities in Nigeria in partnership with the Benue State Ministry of Health and Benue State AIDS Control Agency (BENSACA).
“When AHF Nigeria started in Gbajimba General Hospital five years ago, the hospital was non-operational. Despite being a very hard-to-reach area, AHF commenced services, bringing the hospital back to life. Today Gbajimba has produced four comprehensive sites – saving patients the hardship of travelling long distances to get their ARVs”
The AHF is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS organization in the world. It provides health care to more than 690,000 patients in 38 countries, including the US, throughout Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Europe and Asia. In Nigeria, AHF has been operating in the country since 2011, when it started providing free HIV/AIDS services in Gbajimba General Hospital in Benue State. Today, AHF Nigeria has expanded from one clinic facility to twenty-six facilities in Benue State alone and five additional states in the country, reaching over 11,000 clients with lifesaving medication.
“The two structures we unveiled were constructed by AHF to support the existing government facilities: FSP Agan and FSP Daudu, in order to accommodate growing patient numbers, and is part of AHF’s contribution towards the nation’s HIV/AIDS response and AHF’s global campaign, 20X20,” said Dr. Adetayo Towolawi, AHF Nigeria Country Program Manager. “Beyond these two structures, we also renovated the existing facilities in Agan, Agasha and Daudu, and constructed a new clinic building in General Hospital Isanlu in Kogi State; with the goal of creating conducive environments for quality service delivery,” he added.
Benue State, which is the flagship state for AHF’s operation in Nigeria, currently has a prevalence of about 15%, making it one of the highest in the country. Through government support, partners such as AHF have continued to expand and provide the much needed services to the people of Benue State in various communities. “With this excellent construction and renovation work, AHF has once again demonstrated their resolve to deliver upon its promises and beyond,” enthused Dr. Mrs. Cecilia Ojabo, Benue State Honorable Commissioner of Health. “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,” she added.
During the ceremony, which brought together stakeholders, traditional rulers, community leaders and members, a brief overview of AHF’s global mission and sojourn in Nigeria was shared to enlighten community members and further garner their support for AHF’s work.
“When AHF Nigeria started in Gbajimba General Hospital five years ago, the hospital was non-operational. Despite being a very hard-to-reach area, AHF commenced services, bringing the hospital back to life. Today Gbajimba has produced four comprehensive sites – saving patients the hardship of travelling long distances to get their ARVs,” said Dr. Greg Abiaziem, AHF Nigeria Regional Medical Manager and Benue State lead.
“As a global standard for AHF, we work in close partnerships with the government in the different countries we operate. My request to the state is continued support for the teams to enable them to deliver on our mission. 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,” said Dr. Penninah Iutung, AHF Africa Bureau Chief.
About AHF – Nigeria
AHF-Nigeria supports HIV/AIDS response in the country by taking services to hard-to-reach areas and ensuring the people of Nigeria have access to free HIV services regardless of ability to pay. Currently AHF supports over 30 clinics in six states of the country, with a total enrollment of 11,500 patients on treatment. In all its clinics, AHF thrives to lead by example by offering integrated and comprehensive services to HIV positive patients without discrimination and within the shortest waiting times.
Besides treatment and care, AHF also has a robust prevention program that includes monthly community outreaches, community dialogues on HIV/AIDS education, HIV testing and condom promotion. Last year the organization hit a milestone of providing testing services to one million people and distributed about 1.6 million condoms.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 690,000 individuals in 38 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare