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3 Jul 2017

Federal Government target 56% HIV positive children in Benue State

The Federal Government said it is targeting to reach 56 percent of the estimated 17,259 children believed to be HIV positive in Benue State.

The estimated numbers of children living with HIV was revealed in a 2014 Integrated National Guideline for HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care survey in three States namely; Benue, Cross River and Nasarawa States.

The result of the survey was revealed during UNICEF and Journalists Alliance for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (JAPiN) workshop in Calabar, Cross River State.

It showed that Cross River State has an estimated 6,106 children living with HIV, while Nasarawa State account for 7, 545 children estimated to be living HIV.

With these estimates, 56 percent of the children, who are living with HIV, are targeted to be reached in Benue, 20 percent in Cross River and 24 percent in Nasarawa States.

In a presentation titled, National AIDS/STIs Control Programme from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) delivered by the National Coordinator, National AIDS/STIs Control Programme (NASCP-FMOH), Dr Sunday Aboje said, Nigeria is committed to the goal of eliminating Mother-to-child transmission by 2020.

Dr Aboje represented by Taiwo Olakunle from FMOH said, Nigeria has initiated a number of strategies to achieve the eradication of HIV/AIDS in children and have zero babies born with HIV/AIDS by 2020.

“These include the adoption of the ‘Test and Treat all’ strategy, decentralization, task shifting and sharing and scaling up of Prevention of PMTCT services through revitalization and strengthening of the primary healthcare system.”

He said the goal of the national PMTCT programme is the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive by 2020, while adding that specific objectives by the end of 2018 include; 80% of adolescents and young people to have access to prevention, interventions and 36% of all HIV positive women have access to contraceptive.

“75% of all pregnant women receive quality HIV testing and counselling and receive their results, 60% of all HIV positive pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers receive ARVs, 50% of all HIV exposed infants receive cotimoxazole (CTX) prophylaxis.”
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