U.S. Embassy and USAID Activity Highlights/Spotlights
USAID Announces Vaccine Surge in Nigeria
● On February 23, USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr.Atul Gawande announced that the U.S. government is investing $33.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (2021) to Nigeria to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination through the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX).
Speaking to members at the Governor’s Forum at the Ports to Arms Summit in Abuja, Dr. Gawande said,“The Nigerian government has shown its commitment to increasing the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, and we are proud to partner with it as the United States launches this important initiative to boost global vaccination rates.” He added,“We are calling on other countries to engage further and contribute expertise and resources to identify and rapidly overcome vaccine access barriers experienced by communities around the world, especially in Africa.” The U.S. is the largest donor to COVAX and has already supplied over 21.7 million doses to Nigeria as well as technical and logistical support. (Photo: Dr.Atul Gawande, USAID Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Global Health (right) and Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI.)
AA Global Health Visits Primary Health Care Center in Abuja
● On February 24, USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr.Atul Gawande and Gavi High Level Mission delegates visited a primary health center (PHC) in Abuja to observe COVID-19 vaccination and routine immunization activities.The delegation noted that this site provided uninterrupted service over the past five years because it used Gavi-donated solar-powered freezers. Health officials told the delegation that the PHC experienced a high demand for childhood vaccinations. Delegates noted a high resistance to COVID-19 vaccination among parents attending the clinic. During his five-day visit to Abuja, Dr. Gawande participated in a number of engagements, including a Gavi High Level Mission
USAID Partners with Kimberly-Clark to Support Menstrual Hygiene
● On March 2, USAID received a donation of 40,000 sanitary pads from Kimberly-Clark at a handover ceremony in Abuja.The company’s donation will improve the wellbeing, reproductive health, and school attendance for adolescent girls.This initiative will impact the lives of more than 6,000 adolescent girls across ten states over a six month period. In her opening remarks at the event, USAID/Nigeria Deputy Director for the Health, Population, and Nutrition Office Mieko Mckay said,“ USAID commends Kimberly-Clark for this generous donation of high quality sanitary pads for adolescent girls and young women.” She added, “This initiative ties in with our private sector engagement strategy, which seeks to support countries on their journey to self-reliance.” Young women and girls in Nigeria face different challenges, varying by socio-cultural, economic, and environmental contexts, managing their menstruation.
Such challenges include inadequate knowledge about proper menstruation management and lack of access to good menstrual hygiene materials. Kimberly-Clark and USAID implementing partner, Association for Reproductive and Family Health signed the agreement for the donation on January 28, 2022.