A non-governmental organisation, Heartland Alliance International Nigeria (AAI), has said that in the past 10 years, it has been engaged in intervention projects toward championing the cause of the marginalised, vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations including men, women, youths, and key population groups across Nigeria.
HAI Nigeria say its interventions are aimed at mitigating the physiological, psychosocial and economic impact of living with HIV/AIDS and, the injustices and abuses suffered by these groups.
In a press statement issued by the country director/chief of party, Heartland Alliance International Nigeria, Bartholomew Ochonye in Abuja, the group said the decade old inspiring work has been undertaken through a strategic approach of targeted education, advocacy, capacity building, economic empowerment, HIV treatment and prevention and the protection of the human rights of vulnerable and marginalised individuals.
According to Ochonye, “To showcase the successes recorded, best practices adopted and lessons learned from the incredible work that has been done in the process of providing access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support to these key populations in Nigeria, and the partnership forged with various Community Based Organisations (CBOs), an open house event was held. It had in attendance several development partners and members of the diplomatic corps including David Young (United States Embassy), Chelsea Buurman (Netherlands Embassy), Stephen Haykin (USAID), Onyinye Ndubuisi (UNDP), Amee Schwitters (CDC) and Erasmus Morah (UNAIDS) among others.”
He said: “HAI has implemented programmes in different states across the six geopolitical zones of the country: Akwa Ibom, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Enugu, FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, and Rivers. Currently the ‘Integrated Most at Risk Populations HIV Prevention Program’ (IMHIPP) funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID -2009-2018) is under implementation.”
The statement also listed some of the projects carried out by HAI to include the “Enhancing Key Population Intervention in Nigeria” funded by the Society for Family Health (SFH) in 2014, the Innovative Grant on sexual reproductive health and rights (2014), DFID funded Voices for Change (V4C) in 2014 and the NACA and the West Africa Infectious Diseases Institute (WAIDI) operational research grant in 2015.
HAI is the global arm of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, a family of organizations that has been leading anti-poverty and social justice work in Chicago, USA for more than 129 years. The focus of HAI Nigeria centers on human rights, access to justice, gender, mental health and psychosocial support, as well as HIV treatment and prevention, with a broad strategy to invest in the communities where serve.
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