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The Walter Reed Program–Nigeria (WRP-N) is based out of the U.S. Embassy and works closely with the Nigerian Ministries of Defence and Health (NMOD) to enhance HIV prevention, care and treatment through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The WRP-N program works both as a USG agency and direct implementer working with the Government of Nigeria in both technical oversight and execution of the program.
MHRP established this program in 2005, and recently began research activities including an HIV cross-sectional study. MHRP, through WRP-N, is establishing Centers of Excellence for laboratory services in Abuja and Lagos, and supports HIV-related health efforts at 20 sites. These PEPFAR-supported services are available to members of the Armed Forces, their dependents, and civilians in nearby communities.
WRP-N's strong partnership with the Nigerian military and its large network of medical facilities and well-trained personnel developed through PEPFAR affords a supportive climate and infrastructure for program evaluations, surveillance and research.
Nigeria, a second-wave country in the HIV epidemic, has an uncertain public health situation. Although there is an appearance of a low prevalence level, the very large population of the country (>140 million) creates a staggering number of HIV infected patients. As a dynamic and progressive hub of development and exchange for Africa and the globe, Nigeria contains a genetically complex HIV epidemic. As the molecular epidemiology of the epidemic in Nigeria continues to evolve, it is critical to further characterize the genetic distribution of HIV (including HIV-1 and HIV-2 as well as the various HIV-1 subtypes and recombinants) as part of a comprehensive effort to develop an effective HIV vaccine.
As such, our program began “Evaluation of Feasibility and Target Populations for HIV Vaccine Cohort Development in Nigeria,” a randomized, cross-sectional, observational study that will look at the prevalence of HIV and determine potential risk factors associated with HIV infection.
RV230, led by Nigerian researchers, is MHRP's initial effort to assess potential field sites for HIV vaccine studies in Nigeria. Commencing in 2009 in Makurdi, Benue State, the study enrolled 550 participants and is active in Abuja, Federal Capitol Territory. This cross-sectional study includes two populations, a census population and a cross-sectional population, and will assess for HIV-1, HIV-2, and hepatitis B and C prevalence along with the molecular diversity of HIV-1 within these populations.
Visit the WRP-N website: www.wrp-n.org
Central to this mission is the strong partnership with the Nigerian Armed Forces to provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the context of a comprehensive HIV prevention effort. A tenet of this program's philosophy is absorptive growth and includes the development of leadership, clinical, laboratory and logistical capabilities leading to sustainable capacity and infrastructure.
WRP-N has trained 30 point-of-service pharmacists from the 20 NMOD program sites on the dispensing of ARVs, drug combinations and management of treatment failures. Information was also provided on drug-drug interactions and co-morbidity. The program has also held discussions on skills needed to improve dispensing and adherence counseling, in addition to sharing the concept of pharmacovigilance and how to apply practical skills according to national guidelines.
The DOD Walter Reed Program in Nigeria has actively contributed to and supports national prevention programs and activities. These activities helped lead to the development of a National Condom Strategy, National Prevention Plan, Review of the National HIV Counseling and Testing related documents, and the National Sexual Prevention DATE Triangulation Exercise. In an effort to enhance capacity and improve service delivery, WRP-N has trained 55 providers in Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and 26 in early infant diagnosis (EID).
Visit the WRP-N website: www.wrp-n.org
Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) revealed a new 2012 National HIV Vaccine Plan, which aims to elevate Nigeria’s contribution to the international effort to eradicate HIV/AIDS.
The government of Nigeria commissioned a new state-of-the-art Defence Reference Laboratory (DRL) that was built in partnership with the Department of Defense Walter Reed Program-Nigeria.
WRP-N is based out of the U.S. Embassy and works closely with the Nigerian Ministries of Defence and Health (NMOD) to enhance HIV prevention, care and treatment through PEPFAR.