Monday, June 10, 2013

300K Pregnant Women Positive with HIV Yearly_NACA DG

Out of the six million women who become pregnant in Nigeria yearly, about 300,000 are positive with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Prof. John Idoko, revealed yesterday. This was even as he emphasized that the country remained the second most burdened with the disease globally.

Idoko made this known yesterday in Abuja during a stakeholders’ meeting on HIV/AIDS Most-At-Risk- Population, MARP, Programme Implementation and Impact Evaluation.
While decrying what he termed; “Nigeria’s slow progress” in combating the disease, he said 3.4million people are still living with the scourge in the country.
“Out of the figure, he said 1.5million are required to be on drugs based on the current health guidelines, but that only 500,000 of the population, have access to anti-retroviral drugs needed for their treatment.

He said: “In this country, about six million women are pregnant every year. Out of this, about 300,000 are HIV positive. If you do nothing, about half of them would transmit the virus to their children. If you do something, you can reduce that percentage to about five percent. How much are we doing now?

“We do just only about 20 percent. The reason is because we cannot make the woman go for ante-natal care. In many of the states, the women are not going for ante-natal care. Where do they go? They go to the imams, mosques, pastors and churches. They don’t test them there. And then, they also lose the women and the children there.”

He therefore called for the transfer of ownership of HIV/AIDS’ interventions to the states across Nigeria, stressing that only 25 percent of fund expended on the disease come from the Nigerian government while the remaining 75 percent is generated through international donations.

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