Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), on Wednesday said it would provide $1.4 million under the second phase of the campaign to halt Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV in Bayelsa.
Chevron, operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture (JV), announced the intervention in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Yenagoa.
The statement, signed by CNL’s General Manger, Public Affairs, Mr Deji Haastrup, said the funds would sustain the programme for the next two years.
“it is expected that during the 2-year span of the project, at least 2,000 pregnant women will be tested for HIV and receive their results.
“While at the same time building the capacity of community structures of governance to achieve increased healthcare performance.”
According to the statement, the project will be implemented in partnership with Pact, an international NGO.
Chevron stated that the second phase of the project was inaugurated on July 12, 2016 by David Serena Dokubo-Spiff, Secretary to the State Government, on behalf of Gov. Seriake Dickson.
It quoted Mr Clayton Neff, CNL’s Chairman/Managing Director, as explaining that the project was part of the company’s social investment efforts in the Niger Delta.
“Chevron invests in programmes aimed at improving access to healthcare to support the communities where we operate.
” Working with partners globally and at local levels, we dedicate our capabilities, resources and people to support initiatives that build local capacity and deliver real growth, with lasting gains in the fight against devastating diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS,” he said.
The statement indicated that the project would also focus on promoting health care-seeking behaviour among women of reproductive age.
“Which include those living with HIV to utilize antenatal care and Prevention of Mother-To- Child Transmission (PMTCT) services in three Local Government Areas, namely, Ekeremor, Brass and Southern Ijaw respectively. ”
It said that the intervention would strengthen community structures to advocate for accessible, quality ANC, PMTCT, and broader health services in Bayelsa.
NAN reports that the first phase of the project, which run for four years, ended in March 2016, and Chevron spent $5.3 million during the period.
Officials said that the intervention had helped to bring down HIV prevalence in Bayelsa from 9.1 per cent in 2010 to 3.8 per cent in 2015.
The statement explained that over 386,000 people have been reached with HIV messages while 53,686 pregnant women were tested for HIV and received their results under the first phase of the project.
It added that no fewer than 670 people had been trained on the latest PMTCT approaches and techniques while over 300 HIV-exposed infants were also tested at six weeks during the period.