‘We have intervened in HIV/AIDS, TB cases, others’
A faith-based organisation, Caritas Nigeria, said it has managed over 50 complex humanitarian health interventions in the areas of HIV/AIDS and TB, good governance, anti-human trafficking, and irregular migration in the last 10 years, reaching over 12 million beneficiaries.
It noted that its interventions in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment, support to orphans and vulnerable children, detection and treatment of tuberculosis, provision of food and non-food items for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East, as well as Camerounian refugees in Cross River State, have raised the profile of Caritas Nigeria as a unique humanitarian and development agency.
The organisation, a brainchild of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), has also concluded plans to establish a skills acquisition centre in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Speaking at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the organisation in Abuja, Executive Secretary of Caritas Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Uchechukwu Obodiechina, noted that the organisation has supported over 250 health facilities owned by other faiths/denominations, as well as private and government-owned hospitals to provide HIV and TB services across 27 states.
He observed that Caritas Nigeria’s HIV and health portfolio alone has provided HIV testing to more than seven million persons and over 200,000 orphans and vulnerable households.
According to him, HIV/AIDS intervention currently supports 162,978 persons living with HIV by providing them with antiretroviral therapy in Delta, Enugu and Imo States through a robust partnership with diocesan structures, community-based organisations and state governments.
He said: “Similarly, its humanitarian interventions have provided support to internally displaced persons, host communities, returnees affected by the insurgency in the North East, as well as Cameroonian refugees in.
“Caritas Nigeria does this through direct food aid, non-food items, health services, unconditional cash transfers, income-generating activities, vocational skills acquisition, Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC), water sanitation and hygiene services (drilling boreholes, ventilated pit-VIP latrines, rehabilitation of water pumps, hygiene training, distribution of hygiene kits, etc.), agric input support to farmers, nutritional support to acutely malnourished children and young people, education in emergency initiatives, to mention but a few.”