HIV Prevalence Drops to 0.6 % in Kebbi – Ministry of Health ….Explains EU-UNICEF Role

By Uangbaoje Alex, Birnin Kebbi

Kebbi State Ministry of Health says the prevalence of HIV in the state has reduced from 1.4 per cent in 2016 to 0.6 per cent in 2018.

Malam Mohammed Bubuche, Director, Public Health, of the Ministry, on Friday told journalists in Birnin Kebbi, that the achievement was recorded under the European Union Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) project, being implemented in the state by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

He said the EU-MNCHN was a four-year project that began in 2016 to improve access to quality primary healthcare services by women and children in the state.

According to him, the project has significant increase access to Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services to pregnant mothers.

The director said that the intervention has increased uptake of Antenatal Care (ANC) service in the state.

According to him, the increased uptake of ANC and PMTCT services has reduced HIV positivity rate among pregnant women who attends ANC from 0.8 per cent in 2012 to 0.3 per cent in 2018.

“Currently, you will have to test more than 200 pregnant women before one will test positive.”

He explained that before the UNICEF and EU intervention, the Work Bank and other partners were supporting the state to provide HIV services in 185 facilities.

He disclosed that the prevalence of HIV in the state was 4.0 per cent in 2005, and with the support of the Work bank and other partners, it dropped to 2.9 per cent in 2007.

“It further dropped to 1.0 per cent in 2010 and plunged to 0.8 per cent in 2012.

“However, the prevalence rose to 1.4 per cent in 2016, but the UNICEF and EU MNCHN PMTCT intervention has reduced the prevalence to 0.6 per cent as at 2018,” he said.

The official added that when the World Bank project ended, the state relied on other partners, but providing HIV services only in secondary facilities.

“Even at the secondary facilities, we were unable to provide adequate HIV test kits and other consumables.

“The UNICEF and the EU came to the rescue and assisted us to scale up HIV services, particularly PMTCT to 255 Primary Health Care facilities, one in every political ward of the state.

“They developed the capacity of all our staff to provide quality PMTCT services in the 225 PHCs and ensure adequate supply of commodities such as test kits and other consumables.

“UNICEF and EU also engaged experts to mentor our health officers in the facilities to adopt best practices in PMTCT service delivery and integrate health services with community structures.

“The Ward Development Communities and Traditional Birth Attendants are now creating demand and mobilising pregnant women to go for antenatal care and access MPTCT services,” he said.

On sustainability measures, Bubuche said that the state government would soon train laboratory personnel on Dry Blood Sample collection, to enhance HIV diagnostic among infants.

He also said that the state government has created two budget lines for HIV intervention in the state, one in the ministry of health and the other in the state’s Agency for the Control of Aids.

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