HIV services scaled up during a crisis
The ongoing insurgency in northeast Nigeria has claimed an estimated 20,000 lives, precipitating a humanitarian crisis that has gained global attention. Approximately 1.5 million people are internally displaced in Borno State alone. Until two years ago, HIV services were almost nonexistent for those living in internally displaced persons camps.
Despite the challenges of working in a conflict area where health facilities have collapsed and health workers are under attack, FHI 360 successfully scaled up HIV testing and treatment in Borno State, filling a deadly treatment gap for those living with HIV. Since October 2015, FHI 360 has deployed a mobile team of health workers to provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people infected with HIV and services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in 15 camps in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. Clients who test positive for HIV are enrolled in care, and eligible clients are started on ART on-site. Individuals who have difficulties with their treatment regimen are also identified for follow-up care.
Building on our established reputation of collaborating with state governments, FHI 360 is expanding our work to provide a broader humanitarian response in other parts of Borno State. New projects that are focused on assistance and protection for internally displaced persons are funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company. These projects deliver health care; offer protection and psychosocial support to survivors of gender-based violence; and provide water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Photo credit: Success Johnson/UNHCR