The Population Council has been working in partnership with government ministries and health organizations in Nigeria since the 1960s, establishing a country office in Abuja in 2006. Council work in Nigeria focuses on addressing the needs of difficult-to-reach populations—particularly adolescent girls, young women, and men who have sex with men (MSM)—to advance access to and quality of health services spanning sexual and reproductive health, family planning, maternal newborn and child health, and HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
Findings from the Council’s 2005 ground-breaking research on the HIV risk of MSM in Nigeria influenced policy and program initiatives in the country’s HIV prevention, care, and treatment response. The Council’s Men’s Health Network in Nigeria (MHNN) was the first and largest comprehensive HIV/STI prevention intervention in Nigeria targeting male key populations, including MSM, reaching nearly 100,000 high-risk men with HIV prevention messages and providing HIV counseling and treatment services to over 78,000 men.
The Council also pioneered and managed community-based ‘One-Stop-Shop’ HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support centers for MSM and other key populations to increase access to HIV and STI services and products among populations facing the most marginalization. The Council successfully mentored and supported these centers to become independent local entities which have continued to provide comprehensive HIV treatment and care as well as sexual and reproductive health services to marginalized populations across the country.
Beyond their robust research portfolio and work on HIV, the Council in Nigeria currently undertakes projects that aim to ensure integrated, effective health system delivery across malaria, maternal health, sexual and reproductive health, and family planning services; promote equitable and violence-free relationships; reduce the prevalence of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia; improve acceptability and access to a diverse method mix of contraception; influence attitudes and policy around female genital mutilation and cutting; understand and address the needs of victims of sexual and gender-based violence; and more.