Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture (JV), has announced the launch of a $1.4 million two–year project in Bayelsa State, aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborn babies.
According to a statement by the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL), Deji Haastrup, the community–based Prevention of Mother-to-child Transmission project (PROMOT II) is coming on the heels of PROMOT-I, a four-year project, which was earlier implemented in Bayelsa State between September 2012 and March 2016 and to which Chevron committed $5.3 million.
Both phases of the project were implemented in partnership with PACT, an international non–governmental organisation with active programming in Nigeria for more than a decade.
The PROMOT (II) project was officially launched on July 12, 2016 by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, who was represented by the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government (SSG), Chief David Serena Dokubo-Spiff, at Ebbis Hotel, Yenagoa, in Bayelsa State.
The Bayelsa State Governor thanked Chevron for providing additional funds for the extension of PROMOT for another two years.
“Chevron is a good company and I commend the firm for providing additional fund for the extension of PROMOT for another two years, in spite of the harsh economic climate,” the governor was quoted to have said.
He noted that PROMOT (I) was a great success, as it contributed to the reduction of Bayelsa State’s HIV prevalence rates from 9.1 per cent in 2010 to 3.8 per cent by the end of the project’s third year in 2015.
Clay Neff, Chairman Managing Director, CNL, explained that the PROMOT (II) project is part of the company’s social investment efforts in the Niger Delta.
“Chevron invests in programmes aimed at improving access to healthcare to support the communities where we operate. Working with partners globally and at local levels, we dedicate our capabilities, resources and people to support initiatives that build local capacity and deliver real, lasting gains in the fight against devastating diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Clarifying the reason for the project, Haastrup, stated that “Fighting AIDS is not our core business, but it is essential to the success of our business. 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 PROMOT (II) project, being implemented by PACT, will focus on promoting health care-seeking behaviour among women of reproductive age (15–49), including those living with HIV, to utilise antenatal care (ANC) and Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state: Ekeremor, Brass and Southern Ijaw. Additionally, PROMOT (II) aims at strengthening community structures to advocate for accessible, quality ANC, PMTCT and broader health services in Bayelsa State.
“Since the commencement of PROMOT (I) in 2012, over 386,000 people have been reached with HIV messages and 53,686 pregnant women were tested for HIV and received their results. Additionally, 670 people have been trained on the latest PMTCT approaches and techniques and over 300 HIV-exposed infants were tested at six weeks.
“It is expected that during the two–year span of the project, at least 2,000 pregnant women will be tested for HIV and receive their results, while at the same time building the capacity of community structures of governance to achieve increased healthcare performance,” the statement stated.