One Nigeria’s major telecoms companies Etisalat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNAIDS on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria.
With the agreement, Etisalat’s 21 million subscribers will be able to access information through SMS on how and where to access prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services in Nigeria.
The initiative will support Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), other government departments and the Civil Society to boost efforts to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria.
Ibrahim Dikko, Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs at Etisalat Nigeria, said: “We are happy to partner with UNAIDS and NACA for this unique cause. We recognize that a nation can only be economically buoyant if it has a healthy population. This we are committed to building, by attacking its most deadly threats, one of which is HIV/AIDS. We are joining hands with these strategic and effective organisations, and together we will drive the promotion of life and health, for Nigerians in general, persons living with HIV, children yet unborn.”
Prof. John Idoko, director general, National Agency for the Control of AIDS added: “This initiative is bound to avail more avenues of stopping new HIV infections in Nigeria. We welcome this new impetus Etisalat is bringing to the HIV response in Nigeria.”
Dr. Bilali Camara, UNAIDS country director for Nigeria and the UNAIDS focal point for the ECOWAS commented: “Ending the HIV epidemic among children in Nigeria by 2020 will result in preventing 240,000 new HIV infections among children and an additional 460,000 new HIV infections among adults. In all, we are looking at preventing 340,000 AIDS-related deaths and a net benefit of 30 billion United States dollars, with 12 million life-years gained.”