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Institute Receives Awards for Quality HIV Prevention Services

The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has received awards for outstanding provision of HIV prevention services for People who Inject Drugs (PWID), and for quality reporting of gender-based violence services.

IHVN Prevention Lead, Mrs. Comfort Ochigbo officially presented the awards to the Institute’s management represented by IHVN Chief Operating Officer/Managing Director, Dr. Charles Olalekan Mensah.

Mrs. Ochigbo said that the award from FHI-360 was for the excellent provision of prevention services to more than 9,900 PWID in Rivers State from April 2022 to December 2023

“IHVN provided these services as a sub-recipient to FHI-360 on the Global Fund National Aligned HIV/AIDS Initiative Grant (NAHI). In 23 Local Government Areas of the state, we provided community naloxone distribution to prevent death from opioid overdose, medical-assisted therapy assessment, condom distribution, and peer outreaches. IHVN also promoted safe injection practices, and implemented evidence-based interventions using hot-spot analysis,” she said.

Mrs. Ochigbo added that the Institute worked with the Rivers State Ministry of Health, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS, the Global Initiative for Health and Rights, and Diadem Consults.

“We organized frequent joint meetings with stakeholders like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Police Command, local vigilante groups, youth groups, religious leaders and lawyers for an enabling environment for services to get to PWIDs.”

According to her, other approaches adopted that led to excellent delivery of prevention services in the state include, providing peer volunteers working in the community with identity cards, branded bags, and face caps with the national emblem. A social media group was also formed to share relevant information.

Mrs. Ochigbo noted that the second award was from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs for excellent large-scale reporting of gender-based violence data on the National Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Dashboard.

“After receiving training from the Ministry, we stepped down the training to staff from 70 of our supported facilities. They reported Gender-Based Violence cases, referral services, survivors who received post-GBV care services, GBV cases prosecuted amongst other indicators,” she said.

IHVN emerged as the second-best organization and the only PEPFAR Implementing partner to report quality large-scale report program data.