Programs for Prevention, Care, and Treatment of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria
Twenty-one percent of the world’s new HIV infections occur among children in Nigeria. An estimated 360,000 Nigerian children, aged 0-14 years, are infected as a result of mother-to-child transmission. These devastating statistics highlight an urgent need. According to UNICEF, only 13 percent of pregnant women were tested for HIV in Nigeria in 2009. Although coverage of anti-retrovirals to HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent transmission to their babies has increased (to 21.6 percent in 2010), it is still far below the national target of more than 90 percent by 2015.
Pregnant women face significant barriers to accessing the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services they need to protect themselves and their children. Pathfinder is changing that with projects like this one.
Pathfinder is strengthening and scaling up PMTCT and HIV testing and counseling at primary health centers and selected general hospitals in the predominantly rural and underserved communities in Edo and Kano states of Nigeria. Project work is supported by funding from the Centers for Disease Control.
Since 2009, more than 92,000 individuals, including at least 38,000 pregnant women, have been reached with HIV testing and counseling services. In addition, an increasing number of private clinics collaborate with the project by either referring pregnant women for HIV counseling and testing or inviting health care providers to provide counseling and testing on site. Pathfinder is currently implementing sustainability plans at the community and local government levels to ensure communities can carry on activities after the funding period has ended.
"Our program is targeted to people who live, work, and have their babies at the community level. They have not had access to health care as we know it. They have not been able to protect themselves or their babies. Until now.” —Farouk M Jega, Country Representative, Nigeria
Pathfinder integrates PMTCT services within focused antenatal care and labor and delivery services. At the same time, Pathfinder and our partners strengthen the skills of birth attendants—both skilled and traditional birth attendants—to provide client-responsive counseling about voluntary family planning. To ensure women and children receive quality PMTCT services, Pathfinder has established PMTCT quality standards that include:
- Voluntary HIV testing and HIV risk-reduction counseling for all pregnant women
- Male involvement to encourage partner testing and support for adherence to prophylaxis, care, and treatment for women and children
- Ongoing continuum of care for the mother-baby pair
- Exclusive and extended breastfeeding promotion according to WHO guidelines
Building Blocks for FP2020 is designed to support and advance family planning in Nigeria and Pakistan, two countries that have made ambitious goals for improving access to reproductive health care in the next decade.
Community Actions to Improve Safe Motherhood in Charanchi, Katsina State, Nigeria under the Population and Reproductive Health Capacity Building Program
The project provided capacity building support for two local community-based organizations, including the rollout of Pathways to Change, and mobilized the organizations to identify barriers in the use of quality maternal health services.
In Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, Pathfinder aims to improve the capacity of community-based organizations to better prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
In rural parts of Uganda, medical centers and makeshift hospitals are often left in the dark at night, making it difficult and even dangerous to treat medical emergencies or deliver babies at night. The “solar suitcase” is changing that.
For 10 years, Dr. Farouk Mohammed Jega has been championing evidence-based arguments to try to persuade clerics that Islam supports family planning methods, contrary to the views of many clerics in Nigeria.