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IHVN Trains on Quality Management System

The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) has organized a training of trainers on Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) 3 curriculum in Nigeria for laboratory personnel from the Ministry of Health.

The training, which took place in Nasarawa State Nigeria, was aimed at improving the implementation and use of the SLMTA curriculum for continuous quality improvement of laboratory systems in the country.

IHVN Head, Quality Improvement/Assurance Unit, Mrs. Oyebimpe Balogun, said “Laboratories are expected to implement a quality management system to ensure that results generated are accurate, reliable and timely for either diagnosis, treatment management and surveillance for public health purposes.  The participants’ capacities are being built to support this across the states.”

She added that “as the participants complete the training, they are added to the pool of National Resource for Laboratory Quality Management System implementation in Nigeria, where their responsibility will include; conducting training audits and mentorship at national, sub-national levels, and in health facilities across the country.”

Deputy Director of Public Health Initiative, Dr. Eke Ofuche, who facilitated sessions during the training, said that the training has virtual and physical components as well as practical sessions to certify the competence of the participants.

“Participants who are certified ought to also train people in their various communities,” he said.

 A participant at the training from Imo State Public Health Laboratory, Chukwuemeka Victor, described the training as useful in developing laboratory processes, quality indicators, and prioritization of tasks in the laboratory. “It really opened my eyes to the application of Quality Management Systems. I have had a lot of residual knowledge on Quality Management Systems, but this gave me guidance regarding its implementation.”

The training was funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with Technical Assistance by SLMTA Nigeria Team.”

IHVN Kicks Off Project to Reduce Still-Births in Nigeria

According to UNICEF’s January 2022 data report, Nigeria ranks second among countries with high stillbirth rates globally at 42.9%, as of 2021. To address one of the root causes of this challenge, the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has begun implementing the Improving Nigeria’s Capacity to Use Data on Registered Stillbirths for Decision-making & Planning (SPEED Project).

The project, which will run from September 2023 to December 2024, is aimed at making data on stillbirths more visible and accessible for evidence-based decision-making.

At a meeting with stakeholders to kick off the project, the SPEED Project Principal Investigator at the IHVN International Research Center of Excellence (IRCE), Mrs. Oghome Emembo, said that the project will collaborate with stakeholders to, “publish a stillbirths Data Analytics and Visualization Tool (DAVT) on the FMOH website, showing stillbirth trends in Nigeria, and other indicators useful for policymaking.”

She added that the project will advocate for policy, system, and process changes to reduce stillbirths in the country. “We will also develop a comprehensive data report, using findings from analysis of FMOH DHIS 2 (District Health Information Software) stillbirth data, and conduct a health economic assessment to examine the feasibility of proposed policy options based on findings,” she said.  

IHVN Assistant Director, Dr. Evaesi Okpokoro said that IRCE can support data analysis for the project’s success. “We have a strong data unit that will support data analysis from this project to encourage evidence-based decision-making.”

Stakeholders from the government, health facilities, women and faith-based organizations, and the media at the meeting, committed to support project objectives.

Head of Department Newborn Branch, Family Health Child Division at the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdullahi Jatau, who represented the Director of Family Health, said that the project will greatly impact policy change.

The project is being implemented with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health & Vital Strategies Program

IHVN, Plateau State to Partner for Quality Health Services

The Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), Dr Patrick Dakum, has stated that the Institute will support Plateau State to strengthen structures for quality health services and research.

Dr Dakum stated this while welcoming the Executive Governor of Plateau State, His Excellency, Barr. Caleb Mutfwang to the IHVN Campus on a courtesy visit. He expressed his desire to offer technical support and guidance as the state implements programs to improve the capacity of its healthcare workers and provide excellent diagnostic and treatment services to its residents.

During the visit, the governor lauded the accomplishments of Dr. Dakum and the Institute in contributing to the well-being of Nigerians.

“I’ve always believed that Dr. Dakum has institutional knowledge and capacity which can add value to governance on the Plateau. The health sector is a very critical sector and without any doubt, it is a sector in need of critical intervention,” Barr Muftwang said.

The governor also toured the IHVN H3 Africa Biorepository, which processes, stores, maintains, and distributes high-quality biological specimens for researchers in Africa since 2010.

IHVN Set to Mark National TB Testing Week

Nigeria is ranked 6th among countries contributing to the global burden of tuberculosis. To increase finding of tuberculosis cases in the country, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) will participate in the National Tuberculosis (TB) Testing Week. The week is scheduled for 14th to 20th August 2023.

During the week, IHVN in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), stakeholders and other partners, will conduct community awareness and enlightenment campaigns.

IHVN Coordinator Global Fund TB Public Private Mix Grant, Dr Temitope Adetiba, says that the week will also feature tuberculosis screening targeted at slums, IDP camps, churches, correctional centers, hard-to-reach areas as well as health facilities.

He adds that children and adults are eligible to be screened for tuberculosis in all the states where the Institute provides tuberculosis services.

IHVN is addressing tuberculosis in Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Anambra, Enugu, Rivers, Imo, Abia , Katsina, Lagos states and the Federal Capital Territory.

IHVN Distributes HIV Self-Test Kits to Corp Members

The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) has distributed more than 200 HIV self-test kits to corp members volunteering in the Anti-HIV Community Development Service group in Abuja.

Prior to the distribution, the corp members who gathered at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja, received sensitization on the use of the kits. IHVN Senior Program Officer Prevention, Mr. Yaro Daniels said that “HIV self-test kits provide a user-friendly and easily accessible testing option as they can be completed at home or in private settings, eliminating the need for clinical visits and potential stigmatization. Many youths these days do not want to get tested for the fear of stigmatization,” he said.

He added that self-test kits offer an alternative testing method, reach individuals who may be reluctant or unable to visit healthcare facilities and those who might face barriers to accessing healthcare services such as key population. “This can lead to higher testing rates, and subsequently reduce the transmission of the virus. HIV self-test kits can provide a discreet and convenient testing option tailored to the specific needs of key population,” he said.

Anti-HIV Community Development Service Group Vice President, Mr. Basorun Abdul expressed his gratitude to IHVN for the practical sessions on the use of self-test kits. “We look forward to partnering with IHVN to ensure that people get tested and know their status,” he said.

Free HIV testing services were also provided to Corp Members at the event.