JUTHThe Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Mr. William Stuart Symington, who visited the APIN in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), commended the feat recorded by the hospital in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention.
Symington gave the commendation after an interaction with stakeholders and an on the spot assessment of facilities at the Aids Prevention Initiative Nigeria (APIN) office in JUTH.
The Ambassador said that JUTH is actually trying in the field of health. He said he met a woman sometimes ago who worked in JUTH who was HIV positive when she resumed the University of Jos.
“She quickly got the HIV treatment at JUTH. She was able to finish her studies. She then married and she got a permanent job at JUTH and she learned to take her medication to ensure that her children, when she had them later, do not have HIV/AIDS.
“So, she took her medication seriously. She did not have a lot of money. She could only do one thing to help the family, and that was, take the medication on time. She did that. She has four children who are HIV negative.”
In 2004, PEPFAR/CDC funded APIN to start the HIV programme in the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH). APIN collaborated with JUTH to provide comprehensive HIV care and treatment services. Since programme inception 9,286 clients have been placed on treatment 8,793 are adults (2,818 males and 5,976 females) and 493 are children less than 15 years old.
APIN also collaborated with JUTH in establishing and maintaining a state – of – the – art molecular laboratory that facilitates early diagnosis of HIV – infected children born to HIV – positive mothers.
The JUTH laboratory also process samples from HIV – infected patients and delivers results to clinicians for HIV treatment and drug – resistance monitoring. Viral load is a measurable indicator of how well a patient is responding to treatment. The lab ensures that all patients on treatment are routinely provided their viral load results.
PEPFAR/CDC funding also enables capacity development of many healthcare workers n all thematic areas, provision of medical supplies, and other programme management support which has largely contributed to controlling the HIV epidemic in Plateau State.
Finally, JUTH, unlike most other health facilities across the Nigeria where paper based – record systems are still used to track and monitor patients, utilizes a robust Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. EMR is critical to ensuring efficient information sharing between clinics, the laboratory and the pharmacy.
APIN Public Health Initiatives also donated 35 computers to 16 different hospitals in Plateau State. The materials were received on behalf of the state government by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kuden Kamshak.
In his remarks on the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APIN, Dr. Prosper Okonkwo, who was represented by Head of Office, APIN Office Jos. Dr. Chukwuemeka Ibilibor, said that the relationship between APIN and the State Ministry of Health has been very cordial and robust, adding that the staff of APIN are always at home whenever they have something to bring them together.
Okonkwo said that the materials donated are to strengthen what were already on ground, positing that they were donating the equipment to support better management.
According to him, for us at APIN, they say if you don’t document things, you have not done anything. That is the truth. Emphasis has been on data. People at the national level say that want data from Plateau State to showcase at the national level even at the global level. That is why APIN is contributing its own quota to the actualisation of this dream through the leadership of the state ministry of health.
“So, there are actually 35 computers, 35 stabilisers, 35 UPS and three printers. So, I think I have relayed the massage from my boss to the Honourable Commissioner.”
Contributing, Plateau State Commissioner for Health, who was elated for the donated computers and other accessories, said the donated items will go a long way towards helping to make their data better, adding that the importance of data cannot be underestimated. Data help policy makers and other social analysts on decisions and that whatever is not documented means that the person involved has not done it.
Kamshak thanked APIN for the laudable initiative, saying that the state government will always provide enabling environment to move health sector forward.
The Chief Medical Director of Plateau State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Yamma Dakwak, who gave the vote of thanks, said that APIN has been in the forefront of providing facilities to health institutions in the state, urging APIN not to restrain its training to itself but to include others.