From Charles Akpeji
The National Coordinator of the National AIDS and STIS Control Programme (NASCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Sunday Aboje, yesterday confirmed that Nigeria has the largest number of pediatrics living withe HIV globally.
The coordinator who made this known in an on going three day workshop organized for members of the Journalists Alliance for the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (JAPin) in Calabar, the capital of Cross River state want all hands to be on deck so as to reduce the prevalence rate among children.
Noting that Nigeria is the 2nd highest burden of HIV globally with 3.4 million people estimated to be living with HIV, 1.7 million HIV positive women and 380,000 children stressing that “Nigeria has the largest number of paediatric HIV cases in the world.”
Represented by Taiwo Olakunle, the National Coordinator said “Nigeria has the second highest global burden of HIV/AIDS and also contributes the largest proportion of new vertically acquired HIV infections among children.”
The country as made known by him “has come a long way in its effort to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly in PMTCT” adding that “Beginning with the pioneer 11 PMTCT-provider tertiary health facilities in 2002, the country now has 7,265 health facilities providing PMTCT services at all levels of the health care system.”
Attributing the prevalence rate to Weak mentorship and supportive supervision system, Inadequate Political commitment and funding at state andlocal Government levels,Weak health service infrastructure,Inadequate engagement of the private health sectorInadequate community involvement among other, the country he said is working round the clock to arrest the situation.
According to him, by the end of 2018, 80% of adolescents and young people would have access to prevention interventions.”
More to that 36% of all HIV positive women as stated by hike would as well have access to contraceptive, and 75% of all pregnant women would also receive quality HIV testing and counselling and receive their results.
While 60% of all HIV positive pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers receive ARVs, 50% of all HIV exposed infants receive ARV prophylaxis, to mention just a few.
The ongoing workshop which was supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund as observed by Naija247 News, heralds the presences of media practitioners from the nooks and crannies of the country.