Nigeria: Our Impact

Adolescents and a few MSH staff pose for the camera after the Adolescent and Young People Program and Symposium held in Abuja, Nigeria. Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

In commemoration of World Aids Day 2019, MSH, through the USAID Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, joined in a week of activities hosted by Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS and the Federal Ministry of Health. In collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the government launched the “Undetectable equals Untransmittable” (U=U) campaign on November 25—a strategic campaign to help achieve zero new infections and reduce stigma for Nigerians living with HIV.

Omena Eghaghara, Supply Chain Management Specialist for the CaTSS project, visits with Mayowa. Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

By Omena Mimi EghagharaOmena Mimi Eghaghara is a Supply Chain Management Specialist for the USAID Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, based in Kwara State, Nigeria. One September day in 2018, while providing supportive supervision to one of the CaTSS-supported facilities in Kwara state, I made the first of many calls to Mayowa, a 21-year-old medical student living with HIV. Mayowa was exhausted and losing hope.

 {Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH}MSH staff member, Christopher Ogar, verifies information from a HIV testing services register with facility staff at General Hospital Suleija in Niger state, Nigeria.Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

In Nigeria, home to the world’s second-largest HIV epidemic, successfully linking every person who tests positive for HIV to accessible and culturally appropriate care and support services is a big challenge.Gender and sociocultural norms can create barriers to linkage, particularly in northern states of Nigeria such as Kebbi, where some women need permission from their husbands to start treatment.

Story and photos by Aor IkyaaboMary John is a 47-year-old mother of two and a hair stylist by profession. She is also one of Nigeria’s mentor mothers — women who provide counseling and essential health education to other HIV-positive mothers in their communities. As a peer and mentor, she teaches these women about how they can prevent their babies from contracting HIV and keep themselves and their families healthy.Mary had been living with the virus for several years before she tested positive.

 {Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH}After nearly losing her business, Adekeye Dorcas now mentors HIV positive pregnant mothers in her community and trains apprentices in the art of nylon production.Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH

A trader skilled in the art of nylon production, Adekeye Dorcas once generated enough income to provide for her family. During a routine visit to the health center in Kwara state, she tested positive for HIV and was immediately offered counseling services and antiretroviral therapy (ART). The growing demands on her time to travel on open clinic days for ART and the cost of transportation began to threaten her family’s financial stability. She knew that adherence to her treatment was key to allowing her to live positively and ensuring that her husband remained HIV negative.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

 

{Photo credit: MSH Nigeria}Photo credit: MSH Nigeria

Motivated by drastic improvements in record keeping, record storage capacity, and shorter consultation times—all due to the introduction of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system—the Federal Medical Center Gusau, Zamfara has committed to scaling up the EMR system.

{ Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu} Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu

Narba Shenom, a 42-year-old living with HIV in Sabon Garin, Kaura Namoda, Zamfara state, could not disclose her HIV status to her husband, a peasant farmer, or to any of her husband’s other three wives, due to the fear of stigma and discrimination associated with HIV in the community. Narba’s situation was challenging because, like many women from the area, she did not work and depended solely on her husband to provide for her and their children.

 {Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo, MSH}Representative of the Hon. Minister of Health, Mr. Arioye Segilola (right), and Dr. Zipporah Kpamor, Country Representative for MSH with other dignitaries displaying the unveiled 2016 National Guidelines on HIV/AIDS in Kaduna State, Nigeria.Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo, MSH

On June 20, 2017, the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Management Sciences for Health (MSH) hosted the launch of the North-West Zonal Dissemination of the 2016 National Guidelines for HIV Prevention Treatment and Care, in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

 {Okechukwu Onyezue/MSH}Karimu Muazu and her groundnut oil businessOkechukwu Onyezue/MSH

Despite decades of progress and efforts made to improve the status of women and children in Nigeria, inequality and poverty persist. In many households in northern Nigeria, women are the caregivers. However, without a steady source of income, they can barely provide for their families. An orphans and vulnerable children program, organized by the USAID-funded Prevention Organizational Systems AIDS Care and Treatment (Pro-ACT) project, implemented by MSH, provides integrated services to such vulnerable households, including HIV-infected and affected households.

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