UNODC Supports Capacity building of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) Officers

Abuja, 23 June 2022-The prevalence of HIV among people in custodial centres in Nigeria is 2.8% (UNODC Survey, 2018), and 10.9% among people who inject drugs (IBBSS, 2020). Thus the prevalence rates are significantly higher among these so-called key populations than the general population where it stands at 1.4%. Consequently, achieving the goal of zero new infections by 2030 as stipulated in the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan (NSP) 2021-2025 can only be achieved if new HIV infections reduce significantly among these often hard-to-reach populations. 

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), therefore supports the Government of Nigeria achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support among people who use drugs, as well as comprehensive HIV services for people in custodial centres.

Government’s efforts at controlling HIV epidemic in Nigeria as well as achieving unified service delivery for people living in custodial centres was supported by UNODC at a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop recently. The workshop which took place from 13 to 16 June 2022 aimed at capacitating health staff of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and Implementing Partners (IPs) to provide HIV Testing Services (HTS) and prevention (including care and treatment) of HIV and related health conditions.

The master trainers are expected to step-down the training across the 36 states and 244 custodial centres in Nigeria. The national training manuals and slides developed earlier this year by a multi-stakeholder group of experts in a meeting supported by UNODC were used for the training.

In her keynote address, the National Coordinator of National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCP), Dr Akudo Ikpeazu, represented by the Deputy Director, NASCP Prevention Unit, Dr Nwakaego charged all stakeholders to mainstream the comprehensive package of care involving related health conditions, such as viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases into HIV programming for people in custodial centres and other key population groups.

The robust training methodology included lectures, role plays on pre and post-test counselling and practical sessions on HIV and viral hepatitis testing. The training was made possible due to the generous financial support of the Global Fund (GF) and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Post-training evaluation showed an average increase in knowledge of 19% (from 67.3% to 86.3%) for the SOP training and 30.0% (from 60% to 90%) for the care and referral model training.