Leadership (Abuja)

30 November 2012

Nigeria: Niger State Places 108,280 Pregnant Women On Mother-to-Child Package

The Niger Commissioner for Health, Dr Ibrahim Sule, said 108, 280 pregnant women have been placed on mother-to-child package to check the scourge of HIV and AIDS in the state.

The commissioner made this known at a news briefing as part of 2012 World AIDS Day celebrations in the state in Minna on Friday.

Represented by Dr Ibrahim Chindo, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sule said 17, 944 people living with HIV and AIDS were presently accessing Anti-Retroviral Treatment.

He said the burden of the dreaded disease in the state from 1999 to 2008 had been fluctuating based on the biannual national sero-prevalence survey.

Sule said the survey for the state had been consistently above the national average, noting that as at 2010, the state prevalence rate had dropped to 4.0 per cent.

According to him, this is below the 4.1 per cent national average prevalence rate.

The commissioner also said the state ranked 20th among the states with the least prevalence rate in the country.

"With the current prevalence of 4.0 per cent, it is estimated that 129, 695 people are infected with the disease in Niger ," Sule said.

He said part of the vision of the state from now to 2020 was to reduce the HIV prevalence rate to less than one per cent.

Sule said this was why the state increased the number of HIV comprehensive treatment sites from three in 2007 to 21 in 2012.

He said part of the AIDS Day celebrations included a one kilometer Anti-HIV walk with the view to sensitising members of the public on HIV and AIDS.

Other activities included a free HIV counseling and testing centre at the centre of Minna township for the public to know their status.

NAN

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