Washington, DC, USA: Determined to advance its international health program efforts, the Global Health and Education Projects (GHEP) is partnering with a Nigeria-based non-profit organization, Center for Alcohol, Drug and HIV Awareness (CADAHA) and a US-based counterpart, TransWorld Development Initiatives (TWDI), to address HIV/AIDS, drugs and alcohol problems across the 31 states of Nigeria.

In an historic event recently in Nigeria, GHEP Executive Director and Chief Technical Director, Dr. Romuladus Emeka Azuine, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CADAHA and TWDI setting the stage for a partnership designed to address the triple scourges of HIV/AIDS, alcohol, and drugs throughout the local communities in Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous country.

The MOU solidifies the three organizations’ collective vision to foster collaboration with similar international organizations to address the debilitating effects of drugs, alcohol, and the HIV/AIDS in the general population and also among specific groups with increased vulnerability to the negative effects of drug and alcohol misuse, especially those rural dwellers and populations that live in poverty, using internationally-renowned best practice guidelines.

Under the articles of the MOU, GHEP and the two partners agreed to collectively pool their resources to expand the reach of their programs aimed at addressing the health, social, and economic consequences of drug, alcohol use not only in the general population but in specific populations such as educational, law enforcement and workforce settings.

GHEP, the publisher of the International Journal of MCH and AIDS, will leverage its expertise in global health research, program implementation, and top-notch ability in dissemination of public health information across the world; CADAHA will bring its expertise in drug and alcohol rehabilitation and wide network with rural communities in Nigeria; and TWDI will bring its expertise in the design of humanitarian and partnership development.

“It is not always that you come across a grass root organization like CADAHA based outside of the limelight that is determined to address the huge public health burden from illegal drug and alcohol use. This MOU sets the stage for GHEP to unleash its capacity building capabilities by drawing upon its array of grant makers, program managers, and academia to address the overwhelming, but unaddressed social, economic, and health inequalities arising from alcohol and drug use in developing world,” said Romuladus E. Azuine, DrPH, MPH, RN, public health expert and GHEP Chief Technical Director.

Through this MOU, we are positioned to addressing in full-scale the multifaceted issues surrounding alcohol, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria drawing upon the experience of experts from over 56 countries of the world across our three organizations, said Joe N. Nwokem, MPA, MEd, LCDC, alcohol and drug rehabilitation expert and CADAHA’s Program Director. “This MOU is a culmination of a relationship that has been in the works over the years and puts CADAHA in a class of its own and sets the stage for us to bring leadership in these areas in Nigeria and beyond,“ adds Nwokem.

Magnus A. Azuine, PhD, public health expert and TWDI President, said that with the MOU, TWDI looks forward to touching the lives of indigent populations in rural areas in Nigeria under this agreement utilizing its skills in educational programming and delivery. “We will invest our efforts in developing top-notch courses and programs in the three foci areas which have long-been overlooked,” he said.

“We are excited to be partnering with an organization led by a US trained and licensed drug and alcohol expert who understands the international rigor of implementing educational and rehabilitation programs that are proven to work according to the standards set in the United States but with the richness of the local content across the Nigerian states,” Azuine added.

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