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Expert Says Nigeria Accounts for 1 in 3 New HIV Cases in Children

NAN

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Abiola Davies, a UNICEF HIV Specialist, on Thursday said Nigeria accounted for one third of new HIV infection cases among children in the world.

Davies disclosed this in Lagos while speaking at the opening of two-day review meeting of Journalist Alliance for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission in Nigeria (JAPiN), an NGO.

The meeting is also part of activities marking the 10th year anniversary of the organisation.

She said: “Nigeria is among countries with slow mother to child transmission decline, it is still responsible for one third of the new HIV infections among children.

“The country needs urgent action to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target even if it is moved to 202020.’’

Davies said infant infection rate has not changed much since 2009, saying the country must improve on ownership and coordination at the state level.

She called for the decentralization of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services to the Primary Health Centres (PHCs).

Davies also called for increased involvement of the organised private sector and private health facilities in the fight against HIV infection.

She attributed some of the PMTCT challenges to lack of access to PHCs by pregnant women and non-availability of health workers.

Davies said that the government should mobilize and educate women on mother-to- child HIV transmission prevention strategies.

Sola Ogundipe, the National Coordinator of JAPiN, expressed the hope that the group’s advocacy role would further boost efforts to articulate a sustainable PMTCT policy for Nigeria.

Ogundipe stressed the need to sustain existing HIV programmes as donor agencies were increasingly withdrawing their sponsorships.

He said the reportage on PMTCT has increased in Nigeria, but still urged the media to do more human angle stories on prevention of new infections in children.

Ogundipe said the meeting would also build on the existing collaboration between the UNICEF and key media personnel.

“We will explore new frontiers of effective communication as a crucial component of the national response to the growing challenge of HIV transmission through the mother to child route,’’ he said.

Photo Credit: Paul Hakimata/Dreamstime.com

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

9 Comments

  1. bruno

    October 9, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Straight people are responsible for the continuous spread of HIV in africa. if u like keep having multiple wives and girlfriends and baby mamas here and there.

    • Adelaide

      October 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      I hope I’m not wrong cos you sound like you aren’t straight, need I remind you homosexuals were the first to start dying of these disease in 1981 leading to Dr Robert Gallo’s discovery in 1984

    • bruno

      October 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      @Adelaide, pls shut up and read and understand my comment. HIV is spreading rapidly in africa because of straight people, mother to child, polygamy and ignorance are the problems. Monkey

  2. chi-e-z

    October 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    bruno stop sounding so bitter and closed minded against straights and anyone who practices a religion… I think we need to get this PHCs to mothers and help them understand it can reduce transmission to the child by up to 90percent but I can’t blame some of the mother s that contracted the virus by medical facilities I.e. blood transfusions and such for being skeptical.

  3. Ladygold

    October 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Sensitive issues that must be discussed. Most of the pregnant mothers are young girls who either don’t have access to PHC or choose to have their babies in traditional birth centres who don’t ascertain their status. Some of them live in slums and densely populated area’s of the city. Campaigns should be relaunched on these areas.

  4. @edDREAMZ

    October 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    I blame those gals/ladies that allow guys to penatrate them without condom all in the name of trust…
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  5. Vanessa

    October 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    This a really sad story as no child needs to be born with this desease. It is also not the time for pointing fingers, but people need to ask to be tested when pregnant in order to take preventative measures. Govt needs to offer meds to curb the transmission, but mostly it’s up to people to take good care of themselves once they discover they are infected. This is a never ending story.

  6. Dr. N

    October 9, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Too many births unsupervised. Spiritualizing HIV. Under age pregnancies. Poverty. Inadequate health care in d slums n rural areas. So many reasons for this.

  7. John Bosco

    October 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    When even women make excuses for men’s promisciousity with sayings like “men are polygMous in nature” why won’t HIV spread.

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