By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Kaduna State Government is to work with all stakeholders to reduce the HIV transmission from Mother-To-Child in the state.
Wife of the State Governor, Aisha Ummi Garba El-Rufai, disclosed this during a sensitization meeting with Local Government Chairmen and stakeholders on Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV, (PMTCT) and Adolescents services organized by the state’s Ministry of Education and Human Services in collaboration with UNICEF, in Kaduna on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
Mrs. El-Rufai said even though the accepted benchmark rate is 95 per cent and currently Kaduna is on 66 per cent which is good, she however stressed that more efforts needed to be committed, to salvage the menace.
She further disclosed that the state is working round the clock to closed the gaps to get out of the problem; noting that the state is sensitizing the women on what to do and how to access treatment.
On stigmatization against people living with HIV, she said the society should accept and encourage them because this is not their making, and encouraged that they may be shown love like any other people.
She said the greatest challenge appears to be achieving the elimination agenda by the year 2021, that is to say no child acquire HIV from his mother. However, with the full commitment of stakeholders to demand creating and awareness on the PMTCT intervention at the LGAs, the state shall succeed.
“It is important for you to note that achieving this goal would indeed improve the lives and wellbeing of our women and children.
“This is our fight, hence the need to support, encourage each other and work together as a team. We must save our current and preserve the upcoming generation.
“Children are our future. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to make history. We must be part of this global drive to eliminating Mother-To-Child transmission of HIV. I am confident we are up to the task, we can do it and we shall finally succeed,” she said.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Paul Dogo, said the main goal of the State is to attain a zero transmission of Mother-To-Child.
He said that the State Government want to ensure that no child will acquire HIV from its mother either through pregnancy or after child birth mostly during breastfeeding.
The Commissioner who was represented by his Technical Adviser, Dr. Hamza Abubakar, added that it is the responsibility of the state Ministry of Health and Human Services, it agencies and all stakeholders to ensure that they achieve total elimination of MTCT of HIV.
“With this goal in mind then, Government with supports from development partners has embarked on accelerating scale up of PMTCT facilities.
“Within the last two years, we have scaled up to not only the public secondary health care facilities in the state, but also Primary Healthcare Centres and some selected private health facilities. From 196 in 2012, the state has scaled up to 925 PMTCT facilities in 2018,” he said.
In his remarks, Chairman, Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria, (ALGON), Kaduna State chapter, Alhaji Mahmoud Aliyu, said the 23 LGAs will work in partnership with the State Government to ensure that MTCT transmission is reduced.
Highlight of the event include the official unveiling of the state’s Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV, (PMTCT) Operational Plan, January 2018 to December, 2018 by wife of the Governor.