A Nigeria media tech firm has launched first comprehensive app to help people living with HIV achieve healthy ,productive normal live spans and eliminate transmission.
This is in line with the commitment to end AIDS by 2030 by 193 governments under sustainable development goals(SDGS).The app named Survive HIV, intends to ensure that all PLHIVs know their status, all of them receive ART and remain virally suppressed( irrespective of where they reside) and no further transmission of HIV takes place.Thereby making undetectable=untransmissible(u=u) a reality!
The firm, Ben Francis Enterprise founded in 2018 by International journalist cum consultant.
New approach to HIV with $800 bonus for each PLHIV
The app is following a different approach in dealing with PLHIVs.It just doesn’t address the drugs or opportunistic infections. It addresses new area like how they can get jobs, get empowerment ,start a business, save money on medications and fund their own treatment. Other areas are the use of psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, pharmacists, faith and sex for couples with HIV.It also offers comprehensive guides on how they might get along with family and friends.It also offers new ways HIV patients can empower themselves and afford to pay for their ART medications and fight stigmatization.
Survive HIV app will give out 18 bonus worth over $800 to each subscriber, including a free consultation services in over 12 areas of concern to PLHIVs.
The app was designed for 6 different platforms but is now available on Google play store from 17 February ,2021
Experts validate idea
In a webinar to mark world AIDS day 2018,organized by citizen news org, Dr Ishwar Gilada, president ,AIDS Society of India(ASI) and governing council member of International AIDS Society(IAS)advocated for the use of mobile apps for spreading the message of HIV.He also said that in areas with high possibilities of HIV spread, there is often little or low coverage.This goes to validate what SURVIVE HIV APP is doing by focusing on PLHIVs .
Survive HIV app has a seasoned medical doctor,Dr Halima Bello Dange working at State House medical center,Aso Rock Abuja,(presidency clinic) as its medical director.She has Masters in Public Health from Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto in 2009.A Multi-linguist, she will lead a team of 300 experts from all over the world who would be part of the app.Dr Halima was a classmate to Francis at Federal government college, Sokoto in 1981. They left in 1986 and reestablished contact in 2018 at the schools reunion at Chelsea hotels Abuja.Aside from the school having produced over 50 medical doctors, she was the only one among the four who attended the meeting and who agreed to work on the project.
How I started the project
“I had the idea in my head since 1993, when I was writing for Healthcare magazine in Nigeria”says developer Francis Okoye.He said he wanted to do something about the AIDS epidemic then and so enrolled in Panos institute London briefing.”I got weekly reports for years updating me on what was happening in AIDS sector worldwide. One report led to this. It was about how South Africans were selling their properties to get ART. It was the onset of the ART era and I wrote a story ‘ How people living with HIV can survive’ it became a cover story and it sold out” in health care magazine.”
I have also witnessed countless cases of HIV patients who died avoidable deaths either through patronizing fake and misleading services and informations or out of ignorance.This is one of the major reasons for this survive HIV app.
“I started writing it as a book in 2015.This was made possible by late His highness Onowu Hon Dr M N Ozua Okoye ,the traditional prime minister of Igbo land and of Awkuzu. He employed me through his foundation, the onowu igbonine m n Okoye foundation, and bought all office equipments for my use. I did nothing almost except write and research for two years. He died before I could finish it in 2017”.
“I did not know how to reach the target audience, until I read in Nigerias leading forum ,nairaland.com of apps.One person wrote that he just paid a one year subscription to watch nollywood films via a mobile app. He said the price was cheap and affordable at just $10 per year. I said this is it.Most Nigerians and Africans won’t buy a book for half a dollar , but here was this one paying for an app.So I just knew I could reach them with the app thing.At just $5 per annum as subscription, the app would surely reach millions of PLHIVs in high HIV and TB burdened countries which is our target.”
International recognition for his writings
In 2016, Francis Obinna Okoye was made a citizen news correspondent for Nigeria writing on health.He was among the eleven selected worldwide from over 300 applicants who applied. Apart from being named among citizen news top three correspondents in 2016.In 2016-2017 he was part of Bimla Misra Memorial(BMM) Health Fellowship and became a CNS Health fellow.This year, he became a Wikipedia auto confirmed user, using a username different from his real name.
Francis who started his freelance journalism and cartooning career in Nigeria in 1990, has been published in over 15 Nigerian print media with over 300 published articles.He is from Ihiala in Anambra State.He follows in a different way, the footsteps of his father, Francis Obi Okoye, one of Nigerians football legends.
The important missions of survive HIV app.
They are several important things this app would accomplish.It would champion unique ways to end stigmatization of HIV patients and fight the AIDS and TB epidemics worldwide.
It would also end the huge sums of money , about $3.4 billion dollars by US government in Nigeria alone used to provide free ART for Nigerians.Subscribers would be offered with time three different options to apply in other to comfortable pay for their ART and Medicare themselves.With this ,the US government can focus on using this fund for funding research for vaccine,drugs, diagnostics.They could also channel it to the welfare of poorly paid African health workers and training of health personnel to reduce brain drain.They could also fund Nigerian traditional medicine development and drug trials for HIV and opportunistic infections as well as other health issues.
Name : Francis Obinna Okoye
Tel 234 -8038005065
Email: [email protected] gmail.com
Name: Dr Halima Bello Dange