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Nigeria To Eliminate Mother To Child Transmission Of HIV By 2020

 

Nigeria has initiated a number of

strategies for the elimination of  Mother to Child Transmission  of

HIV by 2020, Dr Sunday Aboje, National Coordinator, National AIDS and

STIs Control Programme (NASCP), Ministry of Health said.

Aboje said this at a three-day communication strategic review meeting

by Journalists Alliance for Prevention of Mother to Child transmission

of HIV (JAPiN) in Calabar.

Represented by Taiwo Olakunle a staff in the ministry, he said Nigeria

contributed about one third of new HIV infections among children in

the 21 HIV priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Nigeria has the highest number of children acquiring HIV infection –

nearly 60 000 in 2012, a number that has remained largely unchanged

since 2009.

“In order to ensure that Nigeria achieves the global target for

elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT), in 2015 government

and stakeholders have taken bold steps to develop strategies targeted

to ensuring access to prevention and treatment programmes.

“These include the adoption of the ‘Test and Treat all’ strategy,

decentralization, task shifting and sharing and scaling up of PMTCT

services through revitalization and strengthening of the primary

healthcare systems,’’ he said.

Aboje said that Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of

HIV aimed at eliminating transmission of HIV from mother to child

during pregnancy, labour, delivery and breast feeding.

According to him, PMTCT accounts for about 90 per cent of infections in

children, hence the focus is to ensure that no child is born with HIV

infection in Nigeria.

“PMTCT is an effective and sustainable intervention with a focus on

ensuring an HIV-free generation by the strategy of getting to zero and

closing the gaps.

“The services commenced in Nigeria in 2001 in six tertiary health

facilities. At the end of 2014, about 6546 facilities comprising of

tertiary, secondary and primary health care centres are providing

PMTCT services,’’ Aboje said.

JAPiN is a network of journalists consistently advocating on issues

relating to mother-to-child transmission of HIV, its prevention and

elimination in Nigeria.

The meeting was been sponsored by UNICEF to enable the media use

effective communication as a crucial component of the national

response to the growing challenge of HIV transmission through the

mother-to-child route. (NAN

 

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