• Insists No Child Should Be Born With HIV

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

On Children’s Day, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has reiterated its call for an HIV-free generation in Nigeria, urging pregnant mothers to seek healthcare services for HIV testing and necessary attention.

In a message released in Abuja on Monday, NACA Director General Dr. Temitope Ilori emphasized that an HIV-free generation is achievable if parents and stakeholders actively support and strengthen Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services.

Dr. Ilori highlighted the importance of Children’s Day as an opportunity to appreciate Nigerian children and acknowledge the country’s responsibility to ensure their health, happiness, and well-being.

She stated, “On this special day, we reaffirm our commitment to the goal that no child should be born with HIV. There’s a need to protect our children from preventable diseases, including HIV, hence the need for more substantial commitments to safeguard their health.

“As we honour our children today, we must also commit to protecting them from preventable diseases, including HIV. No child should begin life with the burden of HIV when it is within our power to prevent it.

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“By strengthening Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services, we can ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.”

While acknowledging Nigeria’s significant progress in reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission, Dr. Ilori emphasized that there is still much work to be done. She assured that NACA is dedicated to ensuring every pregnant woman living with HIV receives the necessary care and treatment to prevent transmission to her child.

“Our goal is clear: to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Nigeria. This requires the collective effort of government agencies, healthcare providers, civil society organizations, and communities.

“This we do by providing antiretroviral therapy to pregnant women living with HIV, promoting safe delivery practices, and supporting appropriate breastfeeding methods. With these, we can protect our children from HIV,” Dr. Ilori said.

She further stressed the importance of addressing other crucial health issues affecting young Nigerians, particularly the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child, emphasizing that no child deserves to be born with HIV, especially in an era marked by advanced technology and innovations.

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