18 October 2018

Nigeria: NGO Marks Milestone After Medical Care for One Million HIV/Aids Patients

A non-governmental organisation says it has reached a milestone in its history after providing medical care to over one million persons living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.

AIDs Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a global AIDS organisation operating in 41 countries, including Nigeria.

In a statement on Thursday, the organisation said providing medical care and services to more than one million persons affected by the disease was a milestone in its 31-year history.

The patients are said to cut across Africa, the United States of America, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia.

"Over one-million lives in AHF's care--the most momentous achievement in the 31-year history of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and an achievement proudly shared by many, many dedicated staff, board members, partner organizations, volunteers, family, friends--and patients," president of AHF, Michael Weinstein, said.

"Just three short years ago, we marked 500,000 patients in care. To now reach over twice that number, one-million lives, is simply incredible," he said.

The Managing Director, Africa Bureau Chief for AHF, Penninah Lutung, said "the AHF Africa Bureau "crossed the half-a-million patient mark in late September--two years early in our goal as part of the '20X20' Campaign.

"I could not feel prouder of each and every one who has helped us reach this milestone and, far more significantly, helped save so many thousands and thousands of lives.

"As an expert in the delivery of HIV/AIDS medical care and an influential advocate, we celebrate this achievement today and also vow to continue to be at the forefront of efforts to control AIDS globally," she said.

AHF Nigeria Country Programme Director, Echey Ijezie, said "I am happy with Nigeria's contribution to this achievement and I can say that we are further motivated to achieve more.

"We would achieve more with a redoubled effort to work more collaboratively with government and from the feedback we are getting, we are certain to achieve more," he said.

In his reaction, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Sani Aliyu, said the agency welcomes all efforts by its "stakeholders and partners to identify and put all people living with HIV on treatment, as this is the best way to achieve epidemic control.

"In Nigeria, the three main partners (Pepfar, Global Fund and the Government of Nigeria through NACA are responsible for 99 percent of those on treatment.

"The government is grateful to our external partners for their ongoing support to the HIV response," Mr Aliyu said.


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