From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has raised the alarm over rising cases of transmission of HIV infection from pregnant mothers to unborn children.
NACA specifically confirmed that 9,999 pregnant women tested positive for HIV/AIDS in 2020 out of the 2,504,678 pregnant mothers tested for their HIV status.
The agency hinged the rise to the lack of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services by pregnant mothers.
Director General of NACA, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, who stated this in a statement to celebrate the 2021 Children’s Day, challenged HIV positive pregnant mothers to take a moment to think about children living with HIV and their families.
He said Nigeria still accounts for a significant proportion of children living with HIV infection globally even though there has been progress in anti-retroviral coverage for pregnant women living with HIV/AIDS.
Aliyu said in 2020, Nigeria successfully increased PMTCT service sites to over 6,000, with 37,111 pregnant women receiving anti-retroviral treatment.
He said despite the progress, a lot more should be done to stop children from getting infected with HIV so that Nigeria could have HIV-free generation.