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Senior State Department Leadership Visit Nigeria Sites

May 26, 2010
Jack Lew, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and Dr. Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, visit a medical centre at the Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.

On 26 May, Jack Lew, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and Ambassador Goosby visited a medical centre at the Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.

Secretary Lew was impressed with the state of the Reference Laboratory and the Medical Center, which encompass a range of diagnostic and clinical services and provides an effective model for expanding capability to 20 other Nigerian Ministry of Defence medical facilities providing PEPFAR supported services across the country. “It is really quite an inspirational tour. The work that has been done here is very impressive. We have seen a state of the art equipment and a coordinated program,” he noted.

The Department of Defense HIV Program–Nigeria (DODHPN), established by the MHRP in 2005, is based out of the U.S. Embassy and works closely with the Nigerian Ministries of Defence and Health (NMOD) to enhance HIV prevention, care and treatment through PEPFAR. The Program has recently commenced Military Infectious Disease Research Program (MIDRP) funded vaccine site development activities including an HIV cross-sectional study, RV230.

Led by Nigerian researchers, the study is MHRP's initial effort to assess potential field sites for HIV vaccine studies in Nigeria.  The study design first conducts a census and sensitization of the field site, and randomly select 550 participants per site, collecting their demographic information and risk behavior while testing for HIV-1, HIV-2, and Hepatitis B and C infections.  Commencing in 2009, the study has completed activities in communities in Makurdi (Benue State), Abuja (Federal Capitol Territory) and Enugu (Enugu State), and is currently active in Kaduna (Kaduna State).