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
“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)