Medical Charity Intensifies Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria
January 19, 2005
On Monday, Doctors Without Borders said it is establishing a comprehensive care and support program to complement its work at a government hospital in central Lagos, where it treats about 250 HIV/AIDS patients. "We are building capacity to fight the disease and encouraging people to get off the streets and come forward voluntarily for treatment," said Tracy Crawford, DWB's spokesperson.Adapted from:
DWB's voluntary counseling and testing center at the hospital provides medical care, nutritional support, laboratory services, antiretroviral adherence counseling and referrals. Consultation and treatment are free to patients, who only pay 150 naira (about US$1) to be tested.
DWB will only leave Nigeria when continued funding, currently provided by its German office, is ensured, said Crawford. "For now, we have so far had a positive and fruitful relationship with the hospital."
Of DWB's 10 staff at the hospital, five are expatriates, said Crawford. Two of DWB's Nigerian workers are HIV-positive, including Mary Ashie, who advises patients on how to adhere to their drug regimen. "My job under the [DWB] program is to let patients know the importance of taking their drugs at the right time, educate them on drugs and the side effects of ARV," she said.
Before he joined DWB last year, Ibrahim Umoru, who works as a peer health education officer, said he had to pay 21,000 naira (US$158) per month for AIDS treatment. "This money I was paying was far above my monthly salary," said the 41-year-old father of two.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.