28 November 2007

Nigeria: U.S, Defence Ministry Partner on HIV/Aids

Abuja — The Ministry of Defence and the United States military are partnering on a research programme to ensure apt military response to the HIV/AIDS in the country.

The leader of the US military team of experts, Colonel Nelson Michael, disclosed this when his team paid a visit to the Minister of State for Defence, Fidelia Akuabata Njeze.

A statement made avai-lable to Daily Trust yesterday by the chief press secretary to the minister, Emma Opara, stated that the mission was challenged by what they saw during their first visit to the country in 2004.

He said that the American government is interested in working with the Nigerian Ministry of Defence on the setting up of important structures that will facilitate prevention of HIV/AIDS among military personnel and civilians.

He said that his team has been visiting military forma-tions to develop partnership and measures towards curbing the spread of the disease.

Responding, the minister commended the United State Department of Defence inter-ventions and its achieve-ments since its inception in 2005.

She added that the progra-mme has ensured effective response to the disease through funds from the US government and the Federal Government.

The minister added that the US has supplied drugs, test kits and other consu-mables to ten sites in military formations in the country.

Four more sites will be open in Calabar, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Owerri as part of the Emergency Plan Implementation Committee (EPIC) of the ministry, she added.

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