By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) has said that Kaduna State Government is fully pursuing the start free, stay free and be AIDS free agenda.
UNICEF Health Specialist, Kaduna Field Office, Dr Idris Baba stated this in Kaduna on Monday, while reacting to ongoing efforts to integrate HIV services with nutrition programmes in the state.
Dr Baba said Kaduna State with the support from UNICEF was doing all it can to find HIV positive children and link them to treatment.
“We are also line-listing and testing all children of HIV positive adults using provider-initiated testing and counselling approach. We are leaving no child behind as part of the state’s ending adolescent AIDS policy,” he said.
He explained that the integration of the HIV services with nutrition programmes was one of the focus and strategic paediatric HIV case finding approaches being scale-up in the state.
“We noticed that we are not getting as many HIV positive children and placing them on HIV treatment as expected.
“UNICEF is, therefore, supporting the training 60 healthcare workers on the integration of paediatric HIV counselling and testing with Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme.
“The objective is to increase our paediatric HIV case finding in Kaduna state by decentralising HIV testing to identified paediatric service outlets,” he said.