Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has expressed gratitude to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) for donating a total of US$5 million to Global Fund to tackle HIV, tuberculosis and malaria for the implementation of the Chevron-Global Fund Anti-Retroviral Treatment Service Maintenance Program (ART Program) in Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo and Lagos States.
Prof Adewale who was elated by the gesture, noted that the efforts of the company over the years exemplified the private sector’s support for health intervention programmes in Nigeria.
“We are happy about what Chevron is doing to support government’s efforts in the fight of HIV and other diseases in Nigeria.
“That is what we have been advocating; that the private sector should show concern about public health issues.
“Government cannot do it alone, and this support is needed to achieve a healthy society,” the former vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, remarked.
General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of CNL, Esimaje Brikinn, while analysing the disbursements, said US$2.5 million was donated to Global Fund to tackle HIV, tuberculosis and malaria for the implementation of the Chevron-Global Fund Anti-Retroviral Treatment Service Maintenance Program (ART Programme) in Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo and Lagos States.
He said by 2018, a final installment of US$2.5 million would have be disbursed to support the HIV programmes, amounting to a total contribution of $5 million by CNL, an affiliate of Chevron Corporation.
Brikinn added that the funds were in addition to US$6.7 million earlier donated by Chevron to the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Bayelsa State.
Underscoring the significance of the disbursement, Mr Brikinn said, “The ART Program will help bridge a critical national health gap and continue Chevron’s work in achieving an AIDS-free generation.
“The program will help reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and other affected people in the communities of the targeted states.
Additionally, it will provide Nigerians with universal access to high-quality, patient-centered prevention, diagnosis and treatment services for tuberculosis, HIV and drug-resistant tuberculosis by 2020.”
The disbursements, as gathered, are part of a nine-year, US$60 million commitment from Chevron to the Global Fund, which raises and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programmes run by local experts to fight the three diseases in countries and communities in dare need.
The Global Fund is rated as one of the world’s largest international financier of health care programmes said to be fighting the three diseases.
Mr Brikinn affirmed that “Chevron has learned through decades of experience that our success is tied to the health and prosperity of the communities where we operate.”
According to him, “Chevron’s social investments are developed through a participatory process and through partnerships not only with the communities who are living in proximity to our operations, but also with other stakeholders who share interests in common with our business such as government, non-governmental organizations [NGOs], non-profits, development agencies, among others.
“Chevron Nigeria Limited has also committed substantial resources over the years in implementing initiatives aimed at combating several diseases in communities close to its operations and beyond.
“The initiatives include River Boat Clinic, building of community health centers, donation of medical supplies and sponsorship of health campaigns,” Mr Brikinn further enumerated.
The Global Fund’s Strategy programme that’ll run between 2017 and 2022 which is duly supported by the Global Fund is expected to save 14 million lives in the three-year period.
Invariably, a total of 36 million lives would have been saved by the Global Fund partnership by the end of 2019, just as about 194 million new infections or cases of HIV, TB and malaria are expected to have been averted.