HIV Programme : Nigeria’s Defence Minister Unveils 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan To Boost Troops Well-being.

 

By Goodluck Ikiebe.

United States Army Medical Research Directorate, Africa and Nigeria (USAMRD-A/N Dr Laura Chitandem and Minister of Defence, Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi, rtd, and their staff, during the launching of the programme in Abuja.

 

 

The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi, (rtd) has raised the bars of the deliverables in safeguarding the overall wellbeing of the target beneficiaries of the collaboration between the NIgerian Ministry of Defence (NMOD) and the United States Department of Defence (USDOD) programme activities.

The programme was at the 14th review of the Steering Committee Meeting of the NMOD- USDOD series held at the Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

General Magashi expressed satisfaction with the performance indicators and progress recorded in programme activities.

He said fighting HIV among the troops, their families and the civilians around the barracks has significantly changed the narratives about the spread and the management of the reported cases of the scourge despite challenging operational environment.

The Defence Minister, who is the Chairman NMOD – USDOD, said it is gratifying that his directive during the last meeting held in March this year that regular interface should be upheld is being complied with.

While appreciating the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Mary Beth Leonard, for sustaining the partnership, General Magashi expressed satisfaction with the availability of the State of the Art equipment, which he noted are aiding National response and combat against communicable diseases, HIV and COVID-19 pandemic.

The Co- Chairman of the NMOD – USDOD, Ambassador Beth Leonard stastistcally outlined the high and the low cases of HIV and scored the programme activities very high in performance.

In their separate remarks, the Director General, Defence Health Implementation Programme (DHIP) Brigadier General NAE Okeji (rtd) and the United States Army Medical Research Directorate, Africa and Nigeria (USAMRD-A/N Dr Laura Chitandem, said sixteen years after the establishment of the Steering Committee, precisely in 2005 it has made significant impact in carrying out its mandate.

They later gave slide presentation of overview of programme activities and highlighted achievements in critical areas of common concerns.

The Steering Committee thereafter presented prayers for the adoption and Implemention of Genomic Sequencing for DRL as well as the need for the inclusion of the Legal Services Department.

The duo also brought to the fore in the review the Implementation status of prayers granted at the last meeting.

The climax of the review meeting included the general discussion by 16 – man member Committee and the unveiling of NMOD- USDOD HIV programme Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2025 by the Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd).