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Nigeria Unveils 2012 National HIV Vaccine Plan
Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) revealed a new 2012 National HIV Vaccine Plan today in Abuja. This collaborative plan aims to elevate Nigeria’s contribution to the international effort to eradicate HIV/AIDS. The plan provides a strategy and plan of action for building capacity to conduct in-country HIV vaccine testing, galvanizing education and advocacy efforts, and sustaining investment in HIV vaccine research and development in Nigeria.
The Plan’s key objectives are to strengthen infrastructure, expand capabilities and build capacity associated with HIV/AIDS vaccine research and development. MHRP’s program in Nigeria, Walter Reed Program-Nigeria, has helped build research capacity in Nigeria by conducting two vaccine cohort feasibility studies various locations in Nigeria. MHRP also supported the development of this Plan.
Nigeria has nearly 3 million people living with HIV/AIDS. This represents the second highest burden in the world with nine percent of the global burden. Community education and increased access to prevention, care and treatment over the past decade have led to significant improvements in the national prevalence rate. According to NACA, “after peaking at a rate of 5.8% in 2001, prevalence rates gradually began to fall and from 2005-2010 have stabilized within the range of 4.1 to 4.4%.”
A diverse group of Nigerian researchers, regulators, ethics experts, industry leaders, advocates, as well as international experts worked together on this plan over the last year. Through a series of consultations and workshops, this expert team developed a Plan that evaluates the current status and provides clear recommendations to advance Nigeria’s capacity to assume a greater role in HIV vaccine research and development. Members of the WRP-N team, including Dr.Ogbonnaya Njoku, participated in and coordinated this process.
”It was a great privilege for me to have worked so closely with the leadership of NACA and our technical partners, SHI Consulting, to anchor the production of this Plan."
“With its large population and unique HIV subtypes, I believe that Nigeria should be in the forefront of the current global quest for an effective vaccine. This updated action-packed Plan could not have come at a better time,” said Dr. Njoku.
The Executive Director of AAVP based in Kampala, Uganda and other international experts working within Nigeria was involved in the content development workshop for the plan which took pace in April 212. The Director of Makerere University Walter Reed Project, in Uganda, Dr. Hannah Kibuuka also participated in the development of the Plan.