The National Coordinator, National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCP), Ministry of Health, Dr Sunday Aboje, said during a three-day communication review meeting by Journalists in Calabar that Nigeria has initiated a number of strategies for the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV by 2020.
According to NAN, his representative Taiwo Olakunle 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.
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.
Aboje said that Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is aimed at eliminating transmission of HIV from mother to child during pregnancy, labour, delivery and breast feeding.
The meeting was been sponsored by UNICEF to enable the media to use effective communication as a crucial component of the national response to the growing challenge of HIV transmission through the mother-to-child route.