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FG fears high mother-to-child HIV spread

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By Okunloye Abiodun

Nigeria has about 1.8 million individuals currently living with the virus.

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has expressed deep worries about the significant prevalence of HIV transmission from mothers to their children. This troubling issue currently stands at an alarming national average of 22 percent. Consequently, NACA strongly emphasises the urgency of implementing focused interventions to combat this problem. In commemoration of World Aids Day (WAD), Gambo Aliyu, the head of NACA, expressed his dismay over Nigeria’s significant contribution of approximately 30 percent towards the global shortfall in eliminating its transmission from mothers to their children. He emphasised the necessity for targeted measures in states where the prevalence surpasses 25 percent.

Despite some noteworthy advancements, Nigeria continues to face significant challenges in combating the virus. It remains burdened with the second-highest number of HIV cases globally, with approximately 1.8 million individuals currently living with the virus. Out of this population, around 1.63 million people have been fortunate enough to receive life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Shedding light on the gender divide, he emphasised that about 58 percent of Nigerians living with HIV are female, whereas males constitute 42 percent of this afflicted population.

Social change will guarantee access to treatment and prevention services.

Abdulkadir Ibrahim, the National Coordinator of NEPWHAN (Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria), in his address at the 2023 WAD festivities in Nigeria, where the focus was on the theme “Communities: Leadership to End AIDS by 2030”. Mr. Ibrahim highlighted the utmost importance of prioritising communities and networks in combating the AIDS epidemic. He emphasised the significance of utilising social change as a powerful tool to guarantee equitable access to both treatment and prevention services.

Furthermore, in Nigeria, there is a pressing need for the government to show unwavering dedication in the battle against this virus. This commitment should not only be limited to the national level but also extend to the state level. Speaking further, he also emphasised the importance of community members actively engaging in the fight against the virus, as they are the ones confronted with the significant challenges that hinder the provision of crucial HIV services to those who require them the most.

It is a reminder to come together and fight the epidemic.

Every year, on the first of December, the WAD is commemorated. This significant day aims to lend support to global initiatives in preventing the emergence of new infections, fostering awareness and understanding around HIV, extending support to individuals living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS, and honouring the memory of those who have been lost to this devastating disease. The occasion stands as a powerful reminder urging everyone to all come together and reignite dedication in putting an end to the HIV epidemic. WAD has effectively raised global awareness by drawing attention to a multitude of challenges, and this year’s theme is a valuable addition to that ever-expanding list.

In 1988, the world witnessed the inaugural World AIDS Day, an occasion dedicated to increasing understanding of HIV and AIDS while paying tribute to those whose lives have been impacted by this devastating epidemic. 2023 will be a significant milestone as they come together to commemorate the 35th anniversary of this significant event. In the last 35 years, remarkable strides have been made in combating it as a result of breakthroughs in medical exploration, expanded availability of care and precautionary measures, and a more comprehensive understanding of the virus.

Unwavering legislative assistance to NACA would strengthen their effort.

Lastly, Amobi Ogah, the Chairman of the House Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Control (ATM), expressed his commitment to providing unwavering legislative assistance to NACA. He pledged to implement innovative strategies and interventions that would empower NACA to accomplish its objectives with utmost efficiency. He expressed that on the occasion of World AIDS Day, the global community comes together to reaffirm their commitment to conquering the obstacles presented by it. They emphasise the importance of fostering cooperation and joining forces to strive towards a future where the detrimental effects of this destructive illness are entirely eradicated.


Related Link

NACA: Website


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AN-Toni
Editor
3 months ago

FG fears high mother-to-child HIV spread. – Nigeria has about 1.8 million individuals currently living with the virus. – Express your point of view.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
3 months ago

It’s really disheartening to hear about the high mother-to-child HIV spread in Nigeria. With approximately 1.8 million individuals currently living with the virus, it’s crucial for the government to take proactive measures to address this issue.
First and foremost, raising awareness about HIV transmission and prevention is key. It’s important to educate pregnant women about the risks of transmitting the virus to their babies and the available interventions to prevent it. This includes promoting early and regular HIV testing during pregnancy, as well as providing access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for pregnant women living with HIV.
In addition, improving healthcare infrastructure and services is vital. This involves ensuring that healthcare facilities have the necessary resources and trained healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to pregnant women living with HIV. This includes access to prenatal care, HIV treatment, and support services for both the mother and the child.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to address the social and cultural factors that may contribute to the high mother-to-child HIV spread. This includes reducing stigma and discrimination associated with HIV, promoting gender equality, and providing support to families affected by HIV.
Overall, tackling the high mother-to-child HIV spread requires a multi-faceted approach involving healthcare, education, and social support. It’s important for the government, healthcare providers, NGOs, and the community to work together to ensure that every child has the opportunity to be born free from HIV and lead a healthy life.

Taiwo
Member
3 months ago

FG worries about an increased rate of HIV transmission from mother to kid. – Approximately 1.8 million people in Nigeria are infected with the virus at the moment. Since 1.8 million individuals are currently infected with the virus, the government must act swiftly to solve this issue. Education about how to avoid HIV infection and spreading should be prioritized.

SarahDiv
Member
3 months ago

The alarming rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission is deeply concerning. Urgent, targeted interventions are crucial, and the government needs to show unwavering dedication at both national and state levels. The statistics highlight the ongoing challenges Nigeria faces in combating HIV. Prioritizing communities and social change is vital for equitable access to treatment. World AIDS Day serves as a poignant reminder to unite in the fight against HIV, and legislative support for organizations like NACA is essential for progress. Together, we must strive for a future free from the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

Kazeem1
Member
3 months ago

Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need to address the high rate of HIV transmission from mother to child. Together, the government and medical groups should be able to put successful plans into action and offer the required resources to stop the HIV virus from spreading.