Belemaoil Contributes To USAID’s HIV/AIDS Eradication Efforts In Akwa Ibom
Belemaoil, one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous oil firm has contributed to the the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s provision of 75,000 rapid test kits to Akwa Ibom state government through USAID’s HIV/AIDS program.
The contribution is part of the USAID’s efforts to deepen private sector involvement in Nigeria’s health sector as contained in the agreement signed on August 13, 2020,
A statement by the Agency on Friday said it accepted the contribution from a Belemaoil Producing Nigeria Limited to support USAID’s activities to eradicate HIV and AIDS in Akwa Ibom State.
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.
“This collaboration is a great example of USAID’s approach of engaging the Nigerian private sector to develop local solutions to address local problems,” USAID Mission Director Stephen M. Haykin said at the virtual signing ceremony today. “This contribution to fill a critical gap in testing for HIV/AIDS in Akwa Ibom state.”
The Managing Director of Belemaoil, Pedro Diaz during the signing it said the contribution is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility commitment to Nigeria.
He also said that the contribution is the start of greater engagement through reputable partners like USAID to support local communities.
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.