HIV/AIDS response in Rivers State, Nigeria: an evaluation of accomplishments and gaps

  • CI Tobin-West
  • CM Okeh

Abstract

Background: Over the years Rivers State of Nigeria has witnessed a rising trend in HIV/AIDS infection.  In 2006, the State Action Committee on AIDS commenced the implementation of a Strategic Response Plan to prevent and mitigate the effect of HIV/AIDS by 2009.
Aim : To verify the extent of achievement of the Strategic Response Plan and identify gaps that should be addressed in future response plans. 
Methodology : The evaluation was carried out through a desk review of 53 project reports, Focus Group Discussions with vulnerable groups and Indepth interviews with HIV/AIDS programme managers.  The desk review was done using two tools developed by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and based on six thematic areas of HIV/AIDS strategic response. 
Results : The number of sites providing Anti-retroviral therapy services increased from 2 in 2005 to 8 in 2009.  Health care facilities providing HIV/AIDS counselling and testing services also increased from 3.2% in 2005 to 20.5% in 2009, while the State Action Committee on AIDS (SACA) was transformed to an Agency for the Control of AIDS.  Gaps included inadequate funding by the State government and development partners, poor linkages between SACA and other coordinating entities in the State and the skewed access to antiretroviral therapy services in favour of urban centres of the State.
Conclusion: The Rivers State HIV/AIDS Strategic Response 2006-2009 performed below expectation. Improved funding is necessary to accelerate HIV/AIDS prevention and control in the State.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Review, Strategic Response, Rivers State, Nigeria
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Articles

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eISSN: 0795-3038