HIV/AIDS: Kaduna At The Forefront of 2020 Eradication Implementation -UNICEF

HIV/AIDS: Kaduna At The Forefront of 2020 Eradication Implementation -UNICEF

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By Alex Uangbaoje 

Kaduna State has been selected as one of the “fast-track‎” state for the implementation of president Muhammadu Buhari’s visions of ending HIV/AIDS in Nigeria by 2020.

‎Dr. Dorothy Mbori-Ngacha, ‎Chief, Children and HIV/AIDS Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria, disclosed this in Kaduna during a media briefing at the end of her three days visit to Kaduna.

‎She said “UNICEF works with Kaduna state in a number of areas, we work with the state in the area of preventing new cases of HIV/AIDS in children for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS.

“And Kaduna has been doing well, it is one of the state in the Nation that is doing well in the PMTCT, HIV programme. Really as a  result of the performance upto date, Kaduna has been enmarked as one of the is fast-track state.

“Remember that recently your head of state, president Buhari was in New York, and he spoke to ‎the world and said he wants to see the end on AIDS in Nigeria by 2020 and so Kaduna state has been selected as fast-track to begin the implementation of that vision.

‎”Another area is the treatment of children we know that adults are getting good treatment when they have HIV, unfortunately children are lagging behind and this is a sad scenario is like adults are eating and children staying hungry.

“So we at UNICEF will work with the state to really see how ‎we can identify children living with HIV, better improve our identification of children and linking them to treatment. We also know that adults who has HIV may also have children living with HIV, so if can treat the adults why not treat the children?”

‎Dorothy explained that UNICEF’s target is to ensure the in the next three to five years 90% of all children living with HIV are receiving treatment in the state. 

She commended the state government for prioritising the issue of HIV/AIDS ‎and showing more interest in that regard saying, she saw all the evidence on the field when she visited the ministry of health and other facilities provided the government. 

In his presentation, Mallam Lawal Abubakar‎, Deputy Director, Public Health, Kaduna State Ministry of Health said the ministry’s priority of areas of partnership with UNICEF this is; PMTCT, early infants diagnosis and pediatric Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART).

‎According to him, the idea is to make sure that all the HIV exposed children that have been born in the state are tested to find out whether they are positive or nagative and that where they are found to be positive, they will be linked to treatment site so that he can immediately be placed on ART.

“In order to achieve our goals in these areas, we have done a lots of activities with UNICEF; one of them is to ensure that we identify some bottle necks. ‎

‎”We did a bottle neck analysis on PMTCT in the twenty three Local Government Areas in the State and we came up with some areas we have some weaknesses which will serve as our baseline and we develop line of action for the state and the twenty three LGAs in the state. 

“So both the state and all the LGAs are now following the plan. ‎So we receive some technical support to run the bottle neck analysis.” He said. 

Lawal calls on the public ‎to understand that HIV is not a death sentence and that there is need for the people to know through the media that it is not a deadly disease. 

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