HIV/AIDS: FG Blames States For Poor Programmes

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The Federal Government has expressed disappointment over the lackadaisical attitude of some state governors in implementing the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS programmes in their states.

Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting entitled: ‘Most at Risk Population Programme Implementation and Impact Evaluation’ organised by NACA, Director-General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof. John Idoko, said the state governments have to do more in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The government also warned of a possible increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS because many young people do not have access to information and drugs.

Nigeria presently contributes two-thirds to the global HIV births with an estimated 70,000 children born with HIV annually.

Idoko said investigations from some states visited by NACA revealed that although the general hospitals were well-equipped, the ante-natal attendance by pregnant women was still very low.

“In South Africa, out of the about three million people infected by HIV/AIDS, two million of them are on drugs. Every eye is on Nigeria. If we want to save lives, PMTCT is the largest hanging fruit to achieve it. If we address the PMTCT burden in Nigeria, we would have addressed the global burden placed on us.

“In some of the states, most of the general hospitals are well equipped. Yet, the ante-natal attendance has been very poor. In one of the hospitals, 600 women registered for ante-natal. But at the end of the day, only four eventually delivered there.

“We want to double the number of people currently on drugs from 500,000 to 1.2 million and provide treatment for 80,000 pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child transmission. In one particular state, six local government areas don’t have Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission programme,” Idoko said

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