Fighting the HIV epidemic in Nigeria with Global Access Program

The Roche Global Access Program has sustainable HIV diagnostic solutions to countries battling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Through partnerships with national governments, local healthcare facilities, communities and international agencies, the Roche Global Access Program launched in 2014 with the hopes to provide universal access to reliable HIV diagnostic tools in countries with the highest disease burden.


Case Study: Access to HIV screening in Nigeria


Two years ago, Roche embarked on a heroic effort to provide HIV viral load diagnostic tests to Nigeria, a country with the second largest HIV epidemic in the world.1

There were 1.9 million people in Nigeria living with HIV in 2018, with an adult HIV prevalence of 1.5%, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Additionally, there were 130,000 newly diagnosed HIV infections and 53,000 AIDS-related deaths that year.2

In early January 2018, Roche received a request to provide Nigeria with 340,000 HIV viral load diagnostic tests and all the associated consumables. To fulfill an order of this magnitude, different international Roche groups including Roche’s Global Operations and Supply Chain, Roche Molecular Diagnostics business team and the South African affiliate collaborated to complete the task and ensure all goods were transported carefully.

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A logistics triumph
The request was so large that the Roche teams split the order into two separate shipments. The logistics for the first shipment alone included:
  • A Chartered Boeing 747-400F.
  • 380 pallets.
  • Over 50 tons of materials.
  • 8 trucks to deliver to the airport.
  • 1.5 to 2 hours to load the supplies on and off the plane.

Limited airline options from Europe, where the diagnostic tests originated, to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, also proved to be challenging.

However, the initial shipment was successfully delivered to Nigeria where local Roche personnel were on site to ensure the tests were intact, properly handled and maintained at the correct temperature.

In March 2018, the second shipment was sent on a partial chartered Boeing 777. Another large order request for Nigeria was shipped in April.

Through extensive coordination and collaboration, this case study illustrates Roche’s commitment to providing access to quality healthcare and medical diagnostics to patients who need it most.

Supporting elimination goals

Additionally, this example demonstrates how the Roche Global Access Program supports the UNAIDS “90-90-90” goal. This ambitious target envisions that, by 2020, 90% of people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status will be on treatment and 90% of people on treatment will have suppressed viral loads.3

In Nigeria in 2018, 67% of people living with HIV knew their status, 80% of people living with HIV knew their status and were on treatment, and 80% of people living with HIV on treatment had suppressed viral loads.2

Roche also fulfilled a similar request for Tanzania, another region suffering from the HIV epidemic. Through the Global Access Program, Roche provided the country about 315,000 diagnostic tests in November 2017.

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Expanding the Global Access Program to other diseases

After focusing its initial efforts on providing diagnostics for HIV, Roche expanded last year its Global Access Program to include diagnostics tests for tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis B and C (HBV and HCV), and human papillomavirus (HPV) for low and middle-income country programs.

In 2018, TB was one of the top 10 causes of death globally, with a reported 10 million new cases of TB infection, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).4

Hepatitis infection is a major health problem that puts people at risk of death from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. There are about 71 million people worldwide with chronic HCV infection, and an estimated 257 million infected with HBV.5,6

HPV is the cause of almost all cases of cervical cancer, which is the fourth most frequent cancer in women. In 2018, there was an estimated 570,000 new cases of cervical cancer.7,8

Through this Global Access Program expansion, Roche hopes to increase access to affordable diagnostic tests to eligible countries with the goal of eliminating diseases in high burden regions.