A Nigerian International non-governmental organization, (INGO), APIN Public Health Initiatives, has unveiled its new corporate identity in Abuja at an event attended by dignitaries, partners, funders and other health related stakeholders.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Director of the APIN, Dr. Prosper Okonkwo, said the operating experience in Nigeria dates back to 2000, when it commenced operations as a project of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), working on HIV/AIDS research and prevention initiatives, with a five-year funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
“In 2004, we began implementing comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs with support from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These projects culminated in the establishment of APIN as a registered independent NGO in 2007 with the aim of building local capacity and sustainability of HIV/AIDS and other diseases in Nigeria. With approval for a name change to APIN Public Health Initiatives by our board of directors in early 2015, and ratification of same by CAC in September 2015, this change was successfully effected on the United States government and other contracting systems beginning September 2016,” Okonkwo explained.
As one of the leading indigenous organizations in the provision of comprehensive HIV services in Nigeria, APIN has built and strengthened human and infrastructural capacities, particularly laboratory and strategic management systems in Oyo, Lagos, Plateau and Borno States.
“This formed the very solid foundation on which the USG PEPFAR program was established in 2004. From 2004-2011, we implemented in 10 states namely: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Borno, Yobe, Enugu and Ebonyi. In the just concluded cycle (2012-2017), and as a result of PEPFAR Nigeria’s rationalization policy, we worked in 3 states (Lagos, Oyo and Plateau). In the current PEPFAR cycle» (2017-2022), APIN implementation covers 8 states of the federation; Benue, Lagos, Plateau, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti, and we currently have more than 250,000 patients receiving ART at supported health facilities in these states,” Okonkwo further explained.
He said the organization was stepping up efforts in its bid to ensure that its efforts at saving lives were not hampered by any encumbrances. He stated that they were finalizing efforts towards achieving some of their goals.
“We are beginning to see some modest progress in our diversification efforts. We are currently finalizingprocurement processes for the award of contracts to consultancies to serve as support program support unit for the Project Save One Million Lives in the North-east. We are also finalizing procurement processes to serve as independent verification agency in Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba States on the Nigerian State Health Investment Project Award.”
The occasion was witnessed by representatives of the FMOH and US CDC, and attended by the DG of NIMR: Prof. Babatunde Salako; Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos: Prof. Folashade Ogunshola, members of the Board of APIN: Dr. Oluwole Odutolu (Chairman), Prof. Ladipo, and Mrs. Rosemary Okagbue; Directors of States Ministries of Health, ED of SACAs as well as Executives Secretaries of Primary Healthcare agencies. Also present were members of civil society organizations and network of people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.