More collaborative efforts needed in elimination of Mother-to-Child transmission –NACA

The National Agency for the Control of Aids says more collaborative efforts are needed towards the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

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The Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu, who disclosed this at a press conference organized by International Community of women living with HIV/AIDs (ICW) West Africa,in commemoration of International Women’s day in Abuja, also called for more awareness to enable people demand for HIV/AIDS service to reduce prevalence.

He said that access to medications for the treatment of HIV/AIDS remains limited, and in some cases difficult for Women, adolescent girls and persons living with the virus.

“While eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV is a big challenge in the global fight against HIV, early diagnosis of HIV-positive mothers, rapid Anti Retrovira Transmission initiation with ongoing monitoring to ensure that their viral load is low, and making sure that their HIV-exposed infants receive appropriate testing and care through the end of the breastfeeding period is critical“. Dr Aliyu said.

He noted that with collaborative efforts the desired goal of elimination of mother to child transmission would be achieved.

“It is important for us to know that as individuals, we can not do this alone, we must work collaboratively, we must work as a community, as individual organizations coming together to put our hands together and push the elimination of mother to child transmission. One thing that should be put to use is access to services by pregnant. Also the day couple understand the importance of testing for pregnancy for HIV, our problem for the elimination of mothers to child transmission will disappear, the day people identify the need to demand for HIV services, the day HIV as an epidemic will come to an end”. He said.

According to Dr. Aliyu, “failure of individuals to demand for HIV services is the main reason why we are where we are in terms of our ability to extend our coverage from the present 50% to 100%.The same barrier that we were unable to break on the last two decades interns of identifying two million people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. This is largely because of the fear of stigmatization and discrimination, that fear is what we have to join our hands to fight for people to know that HIV services are available and accessible.”

The National Coordinator of the National AIDS and STI Control Programmer, Nigeria Ministry of health. Dr. Akudo Ikeazo, noted that Nigeria has all the capacity to get things right.

“More work needs to be done in ensuring that we not only prevent but eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV. The very best part of it is that the science is there, the knowledge is there, the capacity is there in the country. But the sad thing is that we have not done as well as we ought to have done over the years.but is changing because we have understood what we need to do different”. Dr. Ikeazo said.

The Regional Coordinator, International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDs West Africa, Mrs. Reginald Assumpta, that

“Nigeria is a success story, having moved from elimination of mother to child transmission to eradication of mother to child transmission because of the investment from the donor agencies and the Government of Nigeria through NACA abd the Ministry of Health including women living with HIV, who are mentor mothers.

There is still alot to be done and we are looking forward for more support from the government to reach the rural areas’ ‘.

Different categories of awards were given to those that have contributed to the fight against HIV/AIDs in the country.

More collaborative efforts needed in elimination of Mother-to-Child transmission –NACA

»More collaborative efforts needed in elimination of Mother-to-Child transmission –NACA«

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