The Instituted of Human of Virology of Nigeria, (IHVN) said it has so far supported the treatment of 524,404 people living with HIV in Nigeria as well as provided HIV counseling and testing services to more than 16 million individuals.
This is in addition to identifying close to 10,000 people with drug-resistant tuberculosis, trained over 47,000 health care providers and conducted numerous researches on HIV, tuberculosis, cancer amongst other diseases.
The Chief Executive Officer IHVN, Dr. Patrick Dakum disclosed this to newsmen in his paper presentation tilled “Sustaining Health Interventions to Fight Covid-19, HIV, TB, AND Other Diseases: The Role of Media’ during the Annual conference of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalist (ANHEJ) held in Nasarawa State.
Dr. Dakum who was represented at the ocasson by Pharmacist Moses Haggai further added that since the existence of Institute of Human Virology Nigeriain 2004, it has played a vita role in improving health interventions to address infectious and non-infectious diseases.
“We started off as an off-shoot of the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. Since then, we have grown from an affiliate to a local organization leading in the provision of health care services, treatment, care, support, research and capacity building of health care providers.
“We have supported the country through the development of infrastructure such as laboratories to diagnoses and treat infectious diseases such as drug resistant tuberculosis and even COVID-19. These interventions are as a result of the strong collaboration of the Government, other non-Governmental Organizations and International Donor Agencies in the fight against public health diseases.
“We have also supported the improvement of over 100 laboratories nationwide including the BSL3 laboratory in Zaria. IHVN has trained laboratory scientists, enabled accreditation of laboratories amongst other laboratory services.
He however stressed the need for a vibrant and responsive health system adding that it remains critical to every public health intervention including COVID19, HIV and TB among all others.
“Sustainable interventions in the health sector are only possible when we develop systems to drive quality health services.
He also stressed the need for a continuous strategic intervention by the federal government, the WHO, and partners to reduce the burden of the disease in the country by 2030. lamenting that even though Nigeria recorded a gain in its fight against TB in 2020, it still ranks sixth among 30 TB High Burden countries in the world and has the highest burden in Africa.
“We cannot sustain public health programs successfully if countries, organizations and coalitions do not address six key areas such as Innovation to develop the evidence base for action; technical package of a limited number of high-priority, evidence-based interventions that together will have a major impact; Effective performance management, especially through rigorous, real-time monitoring, evaluation, and program improvement and Partnerships and coalitions with public- and private-sector organizations.
Other areas are, communication of accurate and timely information to the health care community, decision makers, and the public to effect behavior change and engage civil society; and Political commitment to obtain resources and support for effective action.