Access to HIV services, key to eliminating MTCT – NACA

By Ikenna Osuoha

Dr Gambo Aliyu, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), on Thursday said that access to HIV services was key to eliminating Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT).

Aliyu said this at an award ceremony to honour persons whose roles have reduced HIV in Nigeria in commemoration of International Women’s Day.

The event was organised by the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, West Africa region (ICW) in Abuja.

Gambo called for the collaboration of stakeholders to avail communities, especially pregnant women, HIV services ranging from test to treatment.

“We cannot think of eliminating Mother to Child Transmission if we do not have access to pregnant women.

“We need to ensure that pregnant women have access to our services, which includes testing and treatment if found positive, ” he said.

The Director General who assured the women of NACA’s support, said that the failure of communities to access HIV services was the reason for continued existence of HIV.

He said: “Let us break that fear and let them know that persons living with HIV can live as long as possible

“Let us let know that HIV is just like any other disease”.

Ms Assumpta Reginald, Regional Coordinator, ICW, West Africa, expressed the commitment of the group to ending mother to child transmission of HIV.

Reginald commended the people, especially women who had contributed immensely to the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission.

“ICW West Africa and ASWHAN celebrates all women, NACA and all other agencies that are making efforts to break the bias that promotes women’s infection with HIV.

Break the bias such as Gender Based Violence, poor educational access to girls, early child marriage, and other structural barriers which disempower women to have autonomy”.

The highlight of the event was the conferment of awards on persons whose roles have reduced HIV in Nigeria.

They were; Dr Gambo Aliyu, Mr Emmanuel Shenge, Mrs Toyin Aderigbite and others, mainly for their roles in the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission.

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