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Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with over 160 million people, is home to more than 250 ethnic groups resulting in rich diversity. Vast oil wealth accounts for a significant amount of the country’s gross domestic product. Sociopolitical challenges have limited the country’s economic growth and resulted in rising levels of poverty. Per capita income is estimated at $1,224 USD, with nearly three quarters of the population living in poverty.
Health Care System
Nigeria’s public health care system has deteriorated in large part due to lack of resources and a “brain drain” of Nigerian health practitioners to other countries. Accessing basic health care services is difficult, particularly in rural areas. Life expectancy averages approximately 52 years of age.
There are an estimated 3.3 million people living with HIV in Nigeria, the largest number in the world after South Africa. Adult HIV seroprevalence is around 3.6 percent and an estimated 1.2 million children have been orphaned by HIV. The Nigerian government has made efforts to provide universal access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment. To this end, it has implemented a number of strategies to scale up HIV services, including a national counseling and testing program and increased collaboration with external donors and non-governmental organizations.
Support for Programmatic Activities
In partnership with the Government of Nigeria, ICAP provides a range of technical and financial assistance for the scale-up of comprehensive HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. ICAP-supported activities in Nigeria include:
- Training programs for healthcare providers and laboratory personnel
- Developing effective ART programs
- Upgrading infrastructure for clinic, laboratory, and pharmacy services
- Supporting strengthened prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV programs, including counseling and testing services
- Supporting enhanced patient information systems
- Developing linkages between prevention, care, and treatment programs and community-based resources for psychosocial and nutritional support
- Strengthening referral mechanisms to ensure continuum of care for persons living with HIV
- Promoting active community participation, ownership, and sustainability of HIV services