By SundiataPOST, Abuja
Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL) says it is committing additional $5 million (N778 million) to boost the mother-to-child HIV prevention programme in Nigeria.
The gesture is contained in a statement signed by Mr Deji Haastrup, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Chevron in Lagos.
It restated Chevron’s commitment in leveraging its eight-year investment to $60 million in the global fund against HIV.
With the donation, Chevron has become the largest single private sector partner in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the country.
“We recognise the deep interdependence of healthy businesses and healthy societies,” the statement said.
It quotes Rhonda Zygocki, Executive Vice-President, Policy and Planning of Chevron Corporation, as saying: “Our continued partnership with the global fund reflects our long-term commitment to invest in health, education and economic development initiatives that help build strong communities.”
Chevron became the global fund’s inaugural Corporate Champion in January 2008, when it committed $30 million to support AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programs in Asia and Africa, it said.
The statement explained that in 2010 alone, the company committed $25 million to fight HIV and AIDS and PMTCT in Angola, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam.
According to the statement, Chevron initially chose the global fund as a partner in 2008, as its performance-based model provides an efficient and highly-impactful way to sustain healthy communities around the world.
“The global fund also places a significant emphasis on measurement and evaluation of the programmes it funds, ensuring that Chevron’s investments are making a tangible difference.
“To date, Chevron has played a part in saving 8.7 million lives through the company’s support of The Global Fund.
“Chevron has shown commendable leadership in the fight against infectious diseases.
“With shared responsibility and strong partnerships with governments, civil society and private sector players like Chevron, we will defeat these deadly diseases.
“Chevron’s strong support helps bring us ever closer to this historic opportunity.
“Chevron has been at the forefront of the fight against AIDS since 1986 when it joined 13 other Bay Area companies to promote education and reduce stigma in the workplace,” it said.
In the 1990’s, Chevron expanded efforts internationally and in 2005 the company implemented a global HIV and AIDS policy supporting employees and their families, the statement added .
“As part of its commitment to help eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Chevron joined the Business Leadership Council (BLC) on an ambitious program focused on empowering state governments to lead their own HIV response, setting concrete targets for the reduction of HIV transmission and developing a simple plan to get there,” it further said.
The statement also described as encouraging the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme in Nasarawa State, following the expansion of the services in both public and private clinics.
“Over 35,000 additional women tested for HIV and 1,500 additional HIV pregnant mothers and 650 babies were put on Anti-Retro-Viral Drugs.
“In May 2013, Chevron announced a new $1.3 million commitment over three years to fund our BLC partnership in support of Nigeria Scale-up of PMTCT in Bayelsa, Lagos and Rivers States.
“I am happy to say that the programme is delivering good result.
“In the last 6 months, over 6,000 people have been touched with the HIV/AIDS outreach in Bayelsa State under the PROMOT program- a PMTCT program in Bayelsa state which we are doing in partnership with Pact,” Andrew Fawthrop, Chevron’s Managing Director, also said in the statement.