BrandArena: Airtel Partners UNAIDS to tackle mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria

Thursday 19 February 2015

Airtel Partners UNAIDS to tackle mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, have partnered to support the National Agency for the Control of AIDS in an initiative to ensure that no child is born with HIV in Nigeria.
Director, Resource Mobilization, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Dr. Emmanuel Alhassan; Legal Director & Company Secretary, Airtel Nigeria, Gbenga Rotimi; Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya; Country Director, UNAIDS, Dr. Bilali Camara and Chief of Office, UNICEF, Sarah Beysolow-Nyanti during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between UNAIDS and Airtel to eliminate Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV in Nigeria, at the Corporate Headquarters of Airtel Nigeria, yesterday, in Lagos

The UNAIDS and Airtel partnership sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday will allow the Telco’s subscribers to benefit from information on how and where to access prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services in Nigeria. The information shall be disseminated through innovative and regular text messages.

In July 2011, a Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive was launched at the United Nations General Assembly Meeting on AIDS. On its part, Nigeria unveiled a National Operational Plan in 2014 focused on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and accelerating the implementation of similar efforts in the country.

The UNAIDS partnership with Airtel Nigeria bolsters the Telco’s existing partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), other government departments and the Civil Society to boost Nigeria’s efforts at eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said the partnership will provide Airtel with a new opportunity to deepen its commitment to touching the lives of Nigerians positively, especially in the area of quality healthcare services delivery.

His words: “At Airtel, we have a track record of supporting and empowering young people, who are the future leaders of our country. We have adopted and built schools for children; provided several interventions in the area of healthcare for hundreds of kids while our Touching Lives programme has even offered us a more elaborate platform to reach and connect with underprivileged children. Indeed, Airtel is intensely interested in impacting society positively as this underscores our corporate philosophy of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians”.

Commenting on the partnership, Prof. John Idoko, Director General, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS stated that “NACA has worked in strong partnership with Airtel since 2005. The partnership commencing today is a new extension of the valued support that UNAIDS and Airtel are providing to the HIV and AIDS response in Nigeria. Airtel’s decision to invest in keeping more children and mothers healthy is a much welcome intervention.”

In 2013, Nigeria represented 22 per cent of the global burden of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, although new scientific evidence indicates the target to have zero new HIV infections among children is achievable.

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