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U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Visits Defense Health Club
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Renée Sanders, presented equipment purchased by the U.S. Government to Mogadishu Cantonment’s Defense Health Club, a support group for People Living with HIV/AIDS. The donated equipment, which includes sewing and knitting machines, will enable members of the support group to learn new skills and generate income.
The Health Club is supported by MHRP’s Nigeria President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, called the Department of Defense HIV Program – Nigeria.
The donation, which took place on February 17, 2009, is a small portion of the support provided to Nigerians under the PEPFAR program. Ambassador Sanders highlighted in her remarks, “our close partnership with the Nigerian Ministry of Defense has increased access to HIV/AIDS services for thousands of Nigerians, both military and civilian. Over the past three years and in partnership with the Nigerian Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Government's Department of Defense HIV Program has provided over $33 million dollars to combat HIV/AIDS in Nigeria as part of PEPFAR."
With the new equipment and furniture, the group looks forward to becoming self-sustaining through income generation activities so that it can help to establish other area HIV/AIDS support groups. Said one member of the group, “I am very excited to be able to learn sewing and knitting skills so that I can provide for my children. I have faced discrimination when trying to get work, but now I can earn money for myself.” Adapted from the U.S. Embassy website, Nigeria.