By Abujah Racheal
The Federal Ministry of Health, through the National HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, and STIs Control Programme (NASCP), has unveiled the Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) Optimisation Toolkits for Taraba and Rivers.
Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, emphasised that the initiative aimed to enhance pediatric HIV Early Infant Diagnosis services in these states.
Represented by Dr Adebobola Bashorun, National Coordinator of NASCP, Pate underscored the toolkit’s significance, a collaborative effort with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and the ministry, marking a crucial step in elevating healthcare quality in the states.
He highlighted the toolkit’s comprehensive processes and tools designed for quality improvement, with broad applicability to enhance overall care for mothers, infants, and families.
The development of the toolkit, facilitated through the successful application of the Program Optimisation Approach in the EID Point of Care (POC) Optimisation project, demonstrated positive impacts on program indicators, indicating its effectiveness.
Pate stressed the toolkit’s potential for broader applications, presenting valuable lessons and tools to improve healthcare services across various regions.
Dr Avese Torbunde, EGPAF’s Country Director, expressed gratitude for collaboration and called for sustained efforts and collaboration to address challenges in the fight against pediatric HIV.
Torbunde highlighted EGPAF’s Project DELTA 2, initiated in 2022, as a pivotal initiative providing comprehensive technical assistance, capacity building, and program implementation expertise.
The project’s overarching goal is to optimise the impact of HIV-related programs, employing high-impact technical approaches in health system strengthening, strategic information, and more.
Torbunde emphasised the project’s focus on enhancing progress in Pediatric HIV and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services in Nigeria, particularly in Abia, Benue, Delta, Lagos, and Rivers states.
The collaboration with NASCP, state ministries of health, and CDC Lead Implementing Partners reflects EGPAF’s commitment to stakeholder engagement and a unified vision.
Dr Garba Danjuma, Director-General of Taraba State AIDS Control Agency, highlighted the toolkit’s role in bolstering the state’s pediatric HIV response.
He emphasised its contribution to addressing risks, optimising resources, and ensuring judicious allocation to those in need.
Danjuma expressed Taraba’s proactive dedication to sustaining success in the fight against HIV in Nigeria, crediting EGPAF Project’s multifaceted support, including capacity building and community strengthening. (NAN) www.nannews.ng
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman