BY SOLA OGUNDIPE
ONE of the most effective approaches for combating the HIV & AIDS pandemic is reaching out to those affected. This is what the Nigeria Indigenous Capacity Building (NICaB) – project of the Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN) has achieved.
At a presentation by NiCaB during the 27th annual scientific conference and AGM of Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) where its best practices in combating HIV/AIDS in the country was showcased.
According to Mr. David Omorebokhae, Director of Advocacy and Management Information System of CHAN, the project aims to achieve a sustained and effective response to HIV & AIDS through capacity building, institutionalising best practices, increased community outreach, and ensuring ownership by local partners.
NICaB which works in 12 sites in six states (Delta, Sokoto, Taraba, Abia, Oyo and Benue), has four main objectives that include, strengthening the health and management systems of CHAN and its member institutions, supporting health programmes in HIV & AIDs at the primary health care level; strengthening/developing local capacity at primary health care facilities to deliver a comprehensive set of quality health services, and establishing/strengthening partnerships with government and private sector agencies to expand and sustain the community response to HIV & AIDS.
Supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the AIDS Care and Treatment (ACT) Project is using a decentralised model to reach the country’s diverse and primarily rural population.
ACT is combining intensive outreach with the building of sustainable structures and systems at the state and local levels.
In a joint presentation, Drs. Ademola Adetunji and Chukwunonso Batholomew Ndulue, both of NiCAB on Comprehensive HIV Care and Treatment at PHC Level – NiCAB Experience: Opportunities and Challenges, they noted the decentralization of HIV-related services to target “hotspots”, hence wider range and coverage of counseling services, better access to care through site expansion would also open up opportunities for care and treatment.
Dr. Emeka Asadu, Head, Treatment, Care & Support, Federal Ministry of Health, stated that different groups believe that the Federal Government was not doing anything on HIV and AIDS. Dr. Zipporah Kpamor, the Chief of Party for the NiCAB project was commended for always asking for assistance. On Tuesday, March 22, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu launched the decentralisation of ART in the country.