By Ndidi Chukwu
National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) has included free HIV screening in its free Health intervention programmes covered during Maternal and Newborn Child Health. Starting from Monday, June 15, Health workers will counsel and test over 1m pregnant women for HIV to health reduce mother to child transmission of the virus the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said.
It will be the first-ever inclusion of HIV services in maternal and newborn child health week (MNCHW) which focuses on delivering key interventions twice-yearly to women and children aged under five. NPHCDA executive director, Dr Ado Muhammad, said the MNCHW this June would become “an entry point to use the primary health care platform for HIV services.”
Pregnant testing positive to HIV during the week will be set up for management at primary health centres, said Ado.
“Even people managed at secondary and tertiary level still go back to their communities. So why not commence such services at community level?” Ado explained.
Since its inception in 2010, the MNCHW has reached some 16 million women and children at last count and a total 22 million people on average in each of its biannual rounds.