Today, Pact and Chevron announced the launch of PROMOT II, a $1.5 million, two-year initiative to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The initiative, launching this week during the 21st International AIDS Conference, builds on a four-year partnership between Pact and Chevron in Nigeria.
“Because some of Chevron's largest operations are located where the grip of HIV is the strongest we have long focused our efforts on the prevention of HIV and AIDS,” said Dr. Huma Abbasi, Chevron general manager, global health and medical. “We’re excited to continue our successful partnership with Pact and build on the achievements we made together with local partners over the last four years.”
In 2012, at any one time in the impoverished, flood-prone Niger Delta of Nigeria, about 100,000 women were pregnant and most of them did not know their HIV status. Pact and Chevron launched PROMOT I, working toward a sustainable, community-based, government-supported PMTCT outreach program in Baylesa State that would help turn the tide against the disease.
Since PROMOT I launched in 2012, Pact and Chevron have trained 670 community health workers on state-of-the-art PMTCT approaches and made it possible for more than 53,000 pregnant women to know their HIV status, receive counseling, and, if necessary, get linked to treatment. Through the program, PMTCT messaging has reached more than 294,000 people.
PROMOT II will utilize Pact’s award-winning women’s economic empowerment program, WORTH, to improve household economic security, a key component for increasing demand for and utilization of community health services, including antenatal care and PMTCT services. In groups of 20 to 25, women will participate in savings-led microfinance, literacy and numeracy training and microenterprise development. They will also receive a tailor-made package of health information on HIV, PMTCT and maternal and child health, referrals and follow-up support for antenatal care and PMTCT services and advocacy and community problem-solving support.
“The success of PROMOT I shows what can happen when the private sector, NGOs and local communities work together to address local challenges,” said Dr. Amina Ahmad-Shehu, Pact senior technical director for health in Nigeria. “We’re looking forward to continuing to help the people of Bayelsa realize an HIV-free generation.”
The new commitment will continue to support demand-generation activities among reproductive aged women, including increasing knowledge of services and promoting health care-seeking behavior to utilize antenatal care and PMTCT services, and increase the capacity of local government to respond to and advocate for communities’ health needs.