MYLAN: Eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Nigeria

Nisa PatelNews

Mylan logoAs one of the world’s leading manufacturers of generics, Mylan supplies high-quality, low-cost treatments to 40% of people currently on antiretroviral therapy (ARVs). Now, through a partnership announced on World AIDS Day 2013, Mylan aims to expand access to ARV treatment. A partnership between Mylan, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Business Leadership Council (BLC) in Nigeria aims to catalyze in-country talent to eliminate mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) of HIV.

Identifying the Problem

HIV transmission from mother-to-child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding can be fatal and is in many cases the leading cause of new HIV infections. However, it is completely preventable. The Global Plan, led by UNAIDS and the US Government’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, aims to eliminate new HIV infections among children by December 31, 2015 and keep their mothers alive.  In order for the world to meet the Plan’s targets, progress in Nigeria is paramount as the country accounts for nearly a quarter of all new infections.

Mylan: Catalyzing the Private Sector to Address Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

Responding to this critical need, on World AIDS Day 2013 Mylan announced a partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to scale up and provide eMTCT services in Nigeria. Mylan will contribute $500,000 to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which will match Mylan’s contribution for a total of $1,000,000. The funds will be co-invested with Born Free’s work in Nigeria.

How the Partnership Works

Born Free is a private sector-led initiative with the sole objective of contributing to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Born Free invests its people, time, and business acumen in local African talent who work behind the scenes to drive change within their own governments toward a generation born HIV-free.

In Nigeria, Born Free and a private donor coalition have partnered with the country’s Federal and State Ministries of Health, National and State Agencies for the Control of AIDS, PEPFAR, The Global Fund, NGO implementing partners and policy-makers to spark a turnaround of Nigeria’s eMTCT response. The private donors include Mylan, The Elton John AIDS Foundation, Chevron, Johnson & Johnson, The MAC AIDS Fund, and The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

This partnership with the Government of Nigeria began in a single state, where a data-driven approach to target setting, planning, and scale up was used. With leadership from PEPFAR and its implementing partners, in one year, the state saw a 1.5x increase in the number of pregnant women being tested and counseled for HIV and a 3.5x increase in the number of pregnant women living with HIV being initiated onto the antiretroviral drugs they need to be healthy and prevent infection in their babies.

This deep-dive approach was later adopted as part of the national plan and the program is now being rolled out by the government, PEPFAR, The Global Fund, policy-makers and NGO implementing partners in all 12 highest-burden states and the Federal Capital Territory — areas of the country prioritized for eMTCT and which account for more than 70% of the HIV burden. Currently, Born Free and a coalition of private donors support 10 local Nigerians seconded into the Federal and State Ministries of Health who are working with these partners behind the scenes to drive acceleration. Since Q4 2013, Nigeria has quadrupled the number of clinics offering antiretroviral drugs for eMTCT and is well on its way to a generation born HIV-free.

Mylan’s support for Born Free facilitates greater private sector collaboration and catalyzes acceleration toward a generation born HIV-free in Nigeria. Read more here.

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Nisa PatelMYLAN: Eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Nigeria