As a strategic move to ensure that Nigeria does not slip down the ladder in the fight against HIV/AIDS, President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to launch a National Action Plan to end Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV in the country. Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, stated this on Monday in a press briefing ahead of the presidential launch billed to take place on Thursday, November 13, 2014.
According to Idoko, “In order to increase the momentum in the effort to achieve (eMTCT), there is need to enhance political commitment at all levels of government.
“The initiative proposes a high level process, involving political and other key stakeholders in Nigeria, geared towards the advancement of the eMTCT agenda.”
The NACA boss explained that “this high level process undertaken by Mr. President aims at political and social mobilisation to end the AIDS epidemic among children. “It will start with the launching of a National Action Plan to end Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Nigeria between 2015 and 2016 and progress into a vigorous one-week long nationwide campaign of HIV counselling and testing (HCT) for pregnant women,” he said.
Idoko stated that Nigeria has made tremendous progress in the fight against the virus, stressing that treatment for prevention of mother to child transmission rose from 33, 891 in 2010 to 57,871 in 2013. Speaking at the event, the United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) Country Director, Dr. Bilali Camara, said Nigeria needs to expand the current scope in the treatment and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in the country.