By Hassan Zaggi
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has disclosed that an estimated 9,999 pregnant women tested positive for HIV in 2020 out of 2,504,678 pregnant mothers tested.
In a statement in Abuja, Tuesday, to commemorate the Children’s Day, the agency regretted that Nigeria still accounts for a significant proportion of children living with HIV infection globally.
It however, attributed this high burden to lack of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services by pregnant mothers.
“Even though there has been progress in antiretroviral coverage for pregnant women living with HIV, transmission of HIV infection from infected mother to child remains high, estimated no of 9,999 pregnant women tested positive in 2020 out of 2,504,678 pregnant mothers tested for HIV,” the statement said.
In his reaction, the Director General of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, insisted that no Nigerian child should do die of HIV, reiterating the having a HIV free Nigeria was possible.
“NACA has been working with partners to scale-up services for HIV prevention, care and support.
“ In 2020, Nigeria successfully increased Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services sites to over 6,000 sites with 37,111 pregnant women receiving antiretroviral treatment. Despite this progress, a lot more needs to be done to stop children from getting infected with HIV so that A HIV-free generation is made possible
“As we celebrate with our children, please join us and help us win the fight against HIV in children by encouraging pregnant mothers to get tested for HIV to protect their unborn children.
“No child should be born with HIV in Nigeria,” Dr Aliyu noted.