By Martins Ifijeh
Chevron Nigeria Limited, (CNL), an affiliate of Chevron Corporation, has announced the disbursement of $2.5 million donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, for the implementation of the Chevron-Global Fund Anti-Retroviral Treatment Service Maintenance Programme in Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo and Lagos States.
Stating this during the presentation in Lagos recently, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, CNL, Esimaje Brikinn, said in 2018, a final installment of $2.5 million will be disbursed to support these HIV programmes, amounting to a total contribution of $5 million by Chevron.
These funds according to him are in addition to the $6.7 million earlier donated by Chevron to the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Bayelsa State of Nigeria.
â€œThe ART Programme will help bridge a critical national health gap and continue Chevronâ€™s work in achieving an AIDS-free generation. The programme 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,â€ said Brikinn.
He said the disbursements are part of a nine-year, $60 million commitment from Chevron to the Global Fund. Adding that GF 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 most in need.
The Global Fund is one of the worldâ€™s largest international financiers of healthcare programmes fighting these three diseases.
According to Brikinn, â€œChevron has learned through decades of experience that our success is tied to the health and prosperity of the communities where we operate. 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 (e.g., government, non-governmental organisations, non-profits, development agencies, and others).â€
â€œCNL 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 centres, donation of medical supplies and sponsorship of health campaigns,â€ Brikinn further explained.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole thanked Chevron for the gesture and noted that the efforts of the company over the years exemplifies the private sector support for health intervention programmes in Nigeria.
â€œWe are happy about what Chevron is doing to support governmentâ€™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,â€ Adewole remarked.
The Global Fundâ€™s Strategy 2017-2022 outlines results targets for the partnership. Programmes supported by the Global Fund will save 14 million lives in the three-year period beginning in 2017, bringing the total lives saved by the Global Fund partnership to 36 million by the end of 2019. Those programmes will also avert up to 194 million new infections or cases of HIV, TB and malaria.