By Asma’u Ahmad
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) says it is committed to increasing campaigns on the need for antenatal care so as to end the mother-to-child transmission of HIV virus.
Its Director-General, Dr Sani Aliyu, made this known in Abuja on Monday at a news conference to commemorate the World AIDS Day. The World AIDS Day is celebrated every Dec.1 and the theme for 2018 celebration is: “Know Your Status”.
Aliyu said that the challenge of ending mother-to-child transmission of the virus was as a result of some pregnant women that refused to attend antenatal care.
He said that focus would be given to the rural areas as the government was already working to upgrade the primary healthcare centres.
Aliyu said that the challenge could only be addressed when there was increased knowledge on the need to know their status which must be done at the start of antenatal care.
“Based on the results we have from several surveys, we know that the major challenge is about bringing the mothers to antenatal care.
“I am pleased that this year’s theme is about knowing one’s status which means that everyone should and must know their HIV status.
“People don’t really need to go to the hospital for testing again as there are self testing kits which can be used by oneself and at the comfort of their homes.
“That alone will increase testing and I hope most pregnant women would make use of the kits so that those that test positive to the virus can begin treatment to avoid its transmission.
“These babies are innocent and they do not deserve to be brought into the world to suffer for what they know nothing about,‘’ he said.
The director-general advised pregnant women to register for the antenatal care at various healthcare centres for adequate care and proper monitoring.