Pro-Health International in colloboration with Adamawa state government, lunched USAID-Funded Integrated Child Health and Social Service Award (ICHSSA 4 project) to Support 76,000 Children Orphaned or made vulnerable to HIV in Adamawa and Bauchi states.
In a press release the USAID Mission Director Stephen M. Haykin made this known during virtual launch of the project in Yola the state capital.
The new activity designed to protect more than 76,000 children and their households made vulnerable or orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Haykin explained that, the $19.2 million ICHSSA 4 activity is among four new USAID Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) that will reach more than 450,000 people in six states.
The activity’s integrated approach will both protect young people from the stigma of association with HIV and help eliminate the perception of people living with HIV as anything less than fully productive community members.
“This USAID assistance will help Nigeria achieve a healthier, more resilient and educated population through support to children and their families made vulnerable by HIV,” Haykin said at the launch.
“We hope its successful practices and procedures can be duplicated and scaled up by state and local governments both in Bauchi and Adamawa.”
Over the next five years, ProHealth International will implement ICHSSA 4 in concert with other indigenous non-governmental and governmental organizations in Adamawa and Bauchi states to provide much needed HIV prevention, treatment, protection, and care and support services to over 75,000 vulnerable children and their households.
Working with indigenous community-based organizations, ICHSSA 4 will respond to specific needs of children living with HIV and their families, survivors of sexual violence, and children and adolescents at high risk of HIV.
The activity will focus on strengthening families, communities, government systems, and civic institutions that care for HIV infected, affected, and at risk OVC and adolescents, and help teens stay healthy, stay in school, and lead safe and stable lives.
The five-year ICHSSA 4 will build on the successes of other past and present USAID investments in partnership with local Nigerian organizations and state governments to continue support OVCs, including the launches of COVID-19 Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in nine states, and will help further solidify USAID’s relationship with state counterparts.
In her goodwill message during the launch, the First Lady of Adamawa state, Her Excellency, Hajiya Lami Ahmad Fintiri, observed that the objectives of ICHSSA 4 project align with the vision of the present administration, which is anchored on food security, free and functional education and security of lives and property.
She gave an assurance of Adamawa state government’s support noting that “all the relevant MDAs including the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Ministry of Health, Adamawa State Agency for the Control of AIDS among others will work closely with ICHSSA 4 project team to achieve its set objectives”.
Other states partnering on ICHSAA initiatives for the next five years include Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, and Kano.
Working with indigenous community-based organizations, ICHSSA 4 will respond to specific needs of children living with HIV and their families, survivors of sexual violence, and children and adolescents at high risk of HIV in Bauchi and Adamawa states.
A lawmaker at the state Assembly Hon. Kate Raymond Mamuno, revealed that, the assembly is coming up with Violence Againt Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA), to ensure castration or risk live improvement jail term for perpetrators of GBV especially rape.
Mamuno representing Demsa constituency also Chairperson House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, notes that, town hall meeting for key stakeholders would soon be convened, describing the lunch as timely in reducing stigmatization on people living with HIV/AIDS.