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Fresh Voices From the Field: Ongoing Efforts to Improve HIV/AIDS Treatment and Prevention in Nigeria

Posted on by Edward Vallejo, ASPH/CDC Global Strategic Information Fellow

 

This is the first in our ongoing “Fresh Voices From the Field” series, where we hear from ASPPH (Association of School and Programs of Public Health) Global Health Fellows working throughout the world. Global Health Fellows are recent Master of Public Health or Doctoral graduates placed in CDC global health offices in Atlanta and abroad. They work on a range of priority public health issues and bring a fresh perspective to CDC’s efforts in the field. (See other “Fresh Voices” blogs.)

 

Edward Vallejo earned his Master of Public Health degree in Quantitative Methods: Epidemiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey while working as a microbiologist at the UMDNJ Center for Emerging Pathogens. He has conducted biomedical research with the Russian Federal Space Agency in Moscow, Russia and volunteered as a relief worker in Haiti and the Philippines. He is from Cranford, New Jersey.

 

Edward Vallejo, ASPH/CDC Global Strategic Information Fellow
Edward Vallejo, ASPH/CDC Global Strategic Information Fellow

Does having access to clean water, stable electricity, and freedom from the fear of contracting an infectious disease make your list of major health and safety concerns? If you live in the developed world, the answer is most likely no, but for the last four months, I have been working in the West African country of Nigeria, where those issues and an ever-changing security situation are a regular part of my daily life. As a member of CDC Nigeria’s Strategic Information Team, my focus has been on HIV/AIDS, the global pandemic that is a leading cause of death for the 170 million people living in Africa’s most populous country.

Less than a month after arriving, I helped to coordinate a large-scale HIV/AIDS service and data quality assessment that involved 40 public health physicians, epidemiologists, strategic information and database specialists traveling to 18 medical facilities across the country. These personnel from CDC Nigeria, CDC Atlanta, the University of California at San Francisco, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program developed a detailed picture of the current state of services and data in those facilities. As a result, established and future programs will benefit from our recommendations, especially in preventing mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS, an area in which Nigeria carries a substantial burden.

Any misconceptions that I held about the importance and effectiveness of this work have been put to rest. Treating those ravaged by HIV/AIDS and preventing the further spread of this disease is absolutely necessary in order to stop millions more from suffering and dying needlessly. Despite the long, hard road ahead, the dedication of the Nigerian people and others around the world will make the creation of an AIDS-free generation a reality that we can all look forward to.

Posted on by Edward Vallejo, ASPH/CDC Global Strategic Information FellowTags , ,

2 comments on “Fresh Voices From the Field: Ongoing Efforts to Improve HIV/AIDS Treatment and Prevention in Nigeria”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    Glory Be To The Lord Almighty
    join me to thank this man worthy to be called my great and powerful father called Dr Olorun Oduduwa. Last time i met a comment online against the great and powerful work Dr Olorun has done with her HIV/AIDS ailment. Firstly: i will thank Mrs Bernille for letting the world knows the powerful man that help her from AIDS disease. This was what i have all my life been waiting for since i was infected by HIV last 6 months. I always spend money for drugs always but still yet my weight becomes poorer and my joint always getting painful and inching all day. But when i met this comment last 3 days, i quickly contacted Dr Olorun Oduduwa the Traditonal helper. He is from the western part of africa, i did’nt spend much as i spent for drugs each day, and i for the fact truly reason this because my life was already as take by this disease called AIDs. Truly, when it was 9 oclock on monday this week he called me that his oracle urgently required some few life items to enable the disease wipe out successfully, then i was asked to send down 200 usd ($). Which i did. He trully bought the items and suprisingly, yesterday afternoon Dr Olorun called me that my work has been finally done and it work out well. I was glad and he told me to rush down to my hospital for checkup. Which i really did, my brothers and sisters i went down crying because no one has ever done this to a person in life. Dr olorun oduduwa truly healed me. I was crying it was a dream to my eyes when the doctor said to me that I am HIV NEGATIVE. I am now a free born in life, am now like other people who now think things like human. For these days and forever, i will accept Dr Olorun as my father and my healer and helper. He is a great man. Thank you sir. I know i cant reward you. But my God in heaven can. Thank you sir once again.
    Regards.

    I want to sincerely thank American govt for all the interventions towards HIV/AIDs pandemic in Africa especially Nigeria.Millions of people and families have been saved.God bless America.However,to what extent is the Nigerian Government willingly to take over this program? The program still is faced with numerous challenges because the counterpart funding from the Federal and State govt is very poor.

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