â¢ 63% of HIV positive women unable to access HIV care services
â¢ Nation records 22,000 new infections among children in 2020
â¢ The former boss of an oil company denounces the decline and the brain drain in the health sector
The federal government has expressed its commitment to a global campaign to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ensure zero new infections by 2025.
This is because statistics show that only 27 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women are able to access prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services, while 63 percent cannot.
According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), Nigeria causes 22,000 new infections among children each year.
National PMTCT officer Dr Gbenga Ijaodola said this during a media dialogue organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Human Rights Information Office. child from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, and the Alliance of Journalists for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and AIDS (JAPiN).
He lamented that Nigeria still has a low identification rate for pediatric HIV cases as well as a poor link to care and treatment for children living with HIV.
Ijaodola, who denounced the low uptake of antenatal care services and the low coverage of antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive pregnant women, noted that PMTCT services currently only reach about a third of pregnant women in Nigeria, while many states have yet to respond to the provision of adequate funding for HIV programs, including PMTCT.
He said: âAccording to the National Strategic Plan (NSP), 95 percent of all HIV positive pregnant and breastfeeding mothers receive antiretroviral treatment; 95 percent of all infants exposed to HIV receive antiretroviral prophylaxis; 95 percent of all infants exposed to HIV have an early diagnosis within six to eight weeks of birth.
He stressed the need to develop a clear community strategy to reach unaffected people and work with traditional birth attendants (TBAs), community leaders and networks of people living with HIV.
Ijaodola also called for the implementation of a state framework for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV / AIDS.
Meanwhile, a former executive vice president of ExxonMobil in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo, denounced the decline of the Nigerian health sector and the massive brain drain, even as he called for a multi-stakeholder approach to buy back the system.
Inoyo, who was honored yesterday by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) during the ongoing Doctors’ Week 2021 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, for his support to the health sector during the pandemic of COVID-19, said: âAs much as possible, the brain drain should be minimized.