The Lagos State Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), have launched the ‘Association for Reproductive and Family Health – Integrated Child Health and Social Services Award 2 Project’, in order to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on Orphans, Vulnerable Children and their Caregivers in Lagos State.
Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, was awarded Grand Ambassador for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) by the Association of Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), in recognition of her enormous contributions to ameliorate the conditions of OVC in the State.
Speaking on Tuesday at Radisson Blu Hotel, in Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu commended USAID for the resources channelled into the OVC project in the State.
She said the impact of the project would be greatly felt, adding that it would go a long way to reshape the lives of the OVC.
Sanwo-Olu applauded the State’s Ministry of Youth and Social Development for producing the OVC State Operational Plan, which will help in the implementation of the USAID project.
Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Olugbenga Ayoola Aina, said USAID’s projects has reached thousands of OVC across the State, noting that the resources given to the OVC have helped them in economic support and in tackling health challenges.
Dawodu assured that the Ministry would make a success of the OVC Project with guaranteed best practices.
He said: “To ensure that we achieve this, the Ministry with the support of USAID has put several things in place, including the production of OVC state operational plan, setup of the technical steering committee and capacity building programmes for Case Managers,” he said.
Chairman of the Occasion, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, represented by the Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Mrs Omobolanle Laniyan, lauded USAID and the LASG on the Project launch, saying it would lift thousands of children from deplorable condition.
Mr Wigwe commended Lagos State Government for its commitment to the actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals while urging other agencies to collaborate with Lagos State in the same vein.
USAID Country Representative, Ms Helena Merie, described the partnership as exciting, saying it would reduce poverty and health challenges of the OVC in the State.
Her words: “We commend the dynamic leadership of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, for providing a conducive environment for USAID projects to thrive in the State,” She said.
President/ Chief Executive Officer, ARFH, Professor Oladapo Ladipo, commended LASG for its unique productiveness in handling issues affecting OVC as demonstrated by the First Lady and the Ministry of Youth and Social Development.
Chief of Party, ARFH-ICHSSA 2 Project, Dr Felix Iwuala, explained that the Association for Reproductive and Family Health is implementing the Integrated Child Health and Social Services Award (ICHSSA) in Lagos State in partnership with Project HOPE and FH1360 with support from the USAID and the Ministry of Youth and Social Development.
According to him, the Project seeks to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on vulnerable children and their households in Agege, Ajeromi/ Ifelodun, Apapa, Badagry, Kosofe, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Ojo, Shomolu and Surulere areas in the State.”
He noted that the scope of services to vulnerable children and their caregivers covers health, education, food/ nutrition, psychosocial, legal protection, household economic strengthening and social protection.
The occasion which was attended by beneficiaries of OVC Project, representatives of CDAs, NGOs, LGAs and Faith-Based Organisations also witnessed the presentation of awards by ARFH to Mr Segun Dawodu, Professor Akin Abayomi and Professor Babatunde Salako (Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research). Gabriel Isiwele, MYSD.