By AbdulRaheem Aodu
Kaduna state government is set to organise town hall meetings, local theatres and embark on media campaigns to ensure prevention of mother to child transmission (pMTCT) of HIV/AIDS in the state, Wife of the Kaduna state Governor, Hajiya Fatima Ramalan Yero, said.
Nigeria has 4.1 per cent prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is second in the world with 30 per cent mother to child transmission (MTCT) of the disease, as 3.1 million Nigerians and 2.17 million Nigerian children suffer HIV/AIDS. Kaduna state with 9.1 per cent prevalence occupies the second position in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
Kaduna also suffers high mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission rate and the “state is off target for the prevention of mother to child transmission (pMTCT) of HIV/AIDS despite efforts by stakeholders to bring down the statistics in the state.” This led the state government to seek ways of achieving its target of zero new related death, zero stigma and discrimination and zero MTCT.
Addressing media executives and health correspondents in Kaduna on mass mobilisation for pMTCT services in Kaduna state, Hajiya Fatima Yero, said the state government need to strategise better since it is doing so much with little achievements to show for it.
“We would organise town hall meetings which would go a long way in helping us on our task mindful of the challenge ahead and efforts of all of us. We want to see how we can prevent MTCT in the state collectively.”
The Commissioner for Health, Mr Joseph Thot Dogo, in his remarks, said the target of the state government was to ensure that no child acquire HIV/AIDS from his mother go ensure that there is no new case that cannot be prevented.
“Government goal is to ensure no child acquire HIV/AIDS from his mother in the womb, during birth and during breastfeeding to eliminate mother to child transmission. We have taken measures to scale up the primary healthcare centres in the last two years from 196 prevention of mother to child transmission providing centre to 398 including public and private,” Dogo, who was represented by the state Director, Primary Health Care, Dr Ado Zakari, said.
The Forum said Governor Mukhtar Yero has provided N2 billion for the fight against HIV/AIDS, this year, and approved the recruitment of 700 skilled manpower on HIV/AIDS in the state.