Nigeria has just secured $335 million in grants to fight two diseases that continue to plague the African country.
On Thursday (Dec. 14), the country signed five grant agreements with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Part of the money will be used to provide for antiretroviral therapy treatment and prevention services, particularly on mother-to-child HIV transmission.
Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigerian minister for health, said the grant signing is “another giant step” in Nigeria’s fight against the two diseases.
Of the total amount, $265 million will go toward HIV-related initiatives. Target populations include female sex workers, men who engage in sexual activities with men and injecting drug users. Incidence of HIV infections in Nigeria is high among these groups, with female sex workers accounting for 20 percent of infections.
Grants for tuberculosis — amounting to $70 million — aim to create more awareness of TB and TB-HIV co-infections in the country. It will also be used to boost people’s access to effective treatment services. These could help Nigeria further lower TB prevalence and mortality in the country. Nigeria has one of the lowest TB case detection rates around the world, according to the Global Fund.
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