Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with 140 million people, has more than 250 ethnic groups. Vast oil wealth accounts for 40 percent of the the country's gross domestic product. However, years of military rule, and mismanagement have limited the country's economic growth and resulted in rising levels of poverty. Per capita income is estimated at $692 USD, with an estimated two-thirds of the population living in poverty.

Health Care System
Over the last two decades, Nigeria's public health care system has deteriorated in large part because of a lack of resources and a "brain drain" of Nigerian doctors to other countries. Especially in rural areas, access to even basic health care services is difficult. Life expectancy averages approximately 45 years of age.

HIV/AIDS in Nigeria
Nigeria has 2.9 million people living with HIV/AIDS, the largest number in the world after India and South Africa. The HIV seroprevalence rate is estimated at 4.4 percent. HIV has also orphaned an estimated 930,000 children in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has set a 2010 goal of providing universal access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment. To this end, it has implemented a number of strategies to scale up HIV services, including a national counseling and testing program and increased collaboration with external donors and non-governmental organizations.

ICAP in Nigeria
In 2005, ICAP began supporting HIV/AIDS services in Nigeria's Kaduna and Cross River States. More recently, ICAP began supporting services in Akwa Ibom, Benue, Gombe, and Kogi States.

Support for Programmatic Activities
In partnership with the Government of Nigeria, ICAP provides a range of technical and financial assistance at the national, state, and site levels, for the scale-up of comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services, including provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART). ICAP-supported activities in Nigeria include:

  • Training programs for healthcare providers and laboratory personnel
  • Developing effective ART programs at the site level
  • Upgrading infrastructure for clinic, laboratory, and pharmacy services
  • Supporting strengthened prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV programs, including counseling and testing services
  • Supporting enhanced patient information systems
  • Developing linkages between prevention, care, and treatment programs and community-based resources for psychosocial and nutritional support
  • Strengthening referral mechanisms to ensure continuum of care for persons living with HIV/AIDS
  • Promoting active community participation, ownership, and sustainability of HIV/AIDS services
  • Provision of safe drinking water

ICAP partners with a number of community-based and non-governmental organizations to deliver HIV and related services. These organizations include:

  • Catholic Action Committee on AIDS
  • Association for Reproductive and Family Health
  • Grassroots HIV/AIDS Counselors
  • Rekindle Hope
  • Fantsuam Foundation
  • Tulsi Chanrai Foundation
  • Living With Hope
  • Daughters of Mary, Sons of Joseph
  • Gantys AID for Widows, Orphans and Needy Foundation
  • Pathfinder International, Nigeria

Map of ICAP-supported Sites in Nigeria