By Fortune Eromosele
Belemaoil Producing Nigeria Limited, on Friday, made a donation of 75,000 rapid test kits to aid the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, attempt to eradicate Human Immuno Deficiency Virus and Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome in Akwa Ibom state.
Recall that in 2019, USAID tested over 1.8 million people for HIV, and funded treatment for 96 percent of the 80,600 identified as positive. USAID has placed 349,500 HIV-positive Nigerians on treatment and has committed to placing an additional 95,500 on lifesaving therapy, and continues to provide health agencies test kits and medicines, as well as support more than half a million children orphaned or otherwise affected by HIV.
Receiving the donation during a virtual signing ceremony, the USAID Mission Director Stephen Haykin said that the kits will specifically be used to test high risk adolescents and young women as well as children to prevent mother-to-child transmission and help health clinics improve antenatal services.
He added that “This collaboration is a great example of USAID’s approach of engaging the Nigerian private sector to develop local solutions to address local problems. “This contribution to fill a critical gap in testing for HIV/AIDS in Akwa Ibom state.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Belemaoil Managing Director Pedro Diaz said: “This contribution is part of our corporate social responsibility commitment to Nigeria and is the start of greater engagement through reputable partners like USAID to support local communities.”