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Nigeria: Health Ministry hosts National Dialogue on PMTCT in Abuja

The Nigeria's Ministry of Health will host the National Dialogue on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, PMTCT, on Tuesday,…

The Nigeria’s Ministry of Health will host the National Dialogue on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, PMTCT, on Tuesday, May 4, in Abuja.A statement by the Health Ministry in Abuja noted that this is one of the strategies aimed at achieving the goal of elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

It added that the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Gambo Gumel Aliyu Chairman, commissioners’ for Health Forum and commissioner of health, Cross River State, Betta Edu will be in attendance.

Others expected at the national dialogue are the Directors of Public Health, Director, Department of Family Health, NPHCDA, Head of Community Services, NPHCDA, Country Representatives of UN Agencies and Development Partners: UNAIDS, WHO, UNICE, UNFPA, UNODC, USAID, CDC, DoD, Programme Director FHI360 GF, Country Directors of Clinton Health Access Initiative, AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria, Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management, Chairman State AIDS Programme Coordinator and Chairman of Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) Task Team.

The statement explained that Nigeria still accounts for significant contribution to all the new vertically transmitted HIV infections among the 23 focus countries of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS according to UNAIDS. 

“The Government of Nigeria has over the years prioritized the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, PMTCT, as a key HIV response. Thus, ensuring that the vertical transmission from mother to child is disrupted with resultant effect to decrease new infections and have a generation free of HIV in the country,” it said.

According to the statement, some of the factors contributing to unmet needs of PMTCT in Nigeria include low patronage of health care facilities for ante-natal care, ANC; shortage of rapid test kits; inadequate skilled health workers especially at the primary and secondary health facility levels; and high staff attrition rate amongst others.

“Hence, one of the strategies to sustain the commitment of the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria is to facilitate a National Dialogue with all key stakeholders. The dialogue will focus on reviewing efforts – political, programmatic, and technical – as follows:

“Discussion on improving the declining performance on the PMTCT cascade in all states in Nigeria

“Discussion on improving early infant diagnosis (EID) services,” it added.

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