Pact, Chevron partnership tests nearly 60,000 pregnant women for HIV in Bayelsa State
Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture (JV), and Pact, an international nongovernmental organization, announced results from their prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV partnership in Bayelsa State. At a closing ceremony for the current two-year, $1.4 million project aimed to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborn babies, the partners reflected on results of the work.
“Fighting AIDS is not our core business, but it is essential to the success of our business,” said Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs CNL. “As a company, we depend on a healthy society. We therefore, promote healthy communities and improved access to health care aimed at eradicating diseases.”
The project, known as PROMOT II, focused on promoting health care-seeking behavior among women of reproductive age (15-49), including those living with HIV, to utilize antenatal care and PMTCT services in three Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State: Ekeremor, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Southern Ijaw. The project also strengthened community structures to advocate for accessible, quality antenatal, PMTCT and broader health services in Bayelsa State.
Working closely with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health, Pact trained Community Health and Empowerment Workers who mentored more than 8,000 women, coordinated referrals of pregnant women to health facilities and provided HIV/AIDS prevention messages. The project also established women’s savings and loan groups, and supported Community Health Committees to improve their performance in participatory planning, resource mobilization, collaboration and coordination.
In two years, more than 2,700 pregnant women were tested for HIV and received their results.
The community-based project was an extension of the original PROMOT partnership, a four-year project implemented in Bayelsa State between September 2012 and March 2016 and valued at $5.3 million.
Since Chevron and Pact began the partnership in 2012, 309,639 people have been reached with HIV messages, 56,399 pregnant women have been tested for HIV and received their results, and 308 HIV-exposed infants were tested for the virus at six weeks. Additionally, 714 Community Health Extension Workers were trained on the latest PMTCT approaches and techniques—a key component of strengthening the local health system and enabling the health gains to last beyond the partnership.