The BRIDGES (“BRIDging the Gaps and Enhancing Sustainability”) Project is a locally driven, all-inclusive effort to further develop comprehensive, family-centered, quality-focused, sustainable HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services in the four Nigerian states of Benue, Kaduna, Gombe, and Kogi (it was initially six states to include Akwa Ibom and Cross River States). The project goals and objectives are to substantially contribute to the Government of Nigeria (GoN) National HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework, the GoN United States Government (USG) Partnership Framework on HIV/AIDS 2010–2015 and PEPFAR’s global 3–12–12 targets.
The services supported through this project are a combination of HIV prevention, care and treatment including interventions to reduce sexual, biomedical, and mother-to-child transmission; HIV counseling and testing; care and support for adults and children; management of TB/HIV co-infection; supportive services for orphans and vulnerable children; and Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). Service delivery support is driven with a focus on quality management through Clinical Systems Mentorship and continual quality improvement activities. This project which currently supports 424 sites including 38 comprehensive sites in supported states. CIHP uses eight approaches cutting across all intervention areas that serve to define the project’s core values:
1) Local experience and expertise;
2) Strategic partnerships;
3) Comprehensive, family-centered care;
4) Quality and evidence-driven programming;
5) Skills transfer and capacity building;
6) Advocacy for sustainability and local ownership;
7) Gender-sensitive approaches;
8) Greater involvement of people living with HIV.
Sustainability plan is integral to the success of this project therefore, CIHP currently works with Government of Nigeria (GoN) and non-governmental organisations (NGO) partners to increase their programmatic and financial responsibility for managing comprehensive HIV/AIDS services within an integrated health care system. Over the life of the project, there is a demonstrated progressive increase in local stewardship of high quality comprehensive HIV/AIDS services and other health services in the supported states.