The ministry’s Director of Public Health, Malam Mohammed Bubuche, said in Birnin Kebbi that the reduction was achieved under the UNICEF and EU Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) project.
Bubuche told journalists that the EU-MNCHN, a four-year project, which commenced in 2016, was designed to improve women and children’s access to quality primary healthcare services in the state.
The director said that the intervention had increased uptake of Antenatal Care (ANC) service in the state.
“The increased uptake of ANC and PMTCT services has reduced HIV positivity rate among pregnant women who attends ANC from 0.8 per cent in 2012 to 0.3 per cent in 2018.
“Currently, you will have to test more than 200 pregnant women before one will test positive,’’ he said.
According to him, the project has significantly increased pregnant mothers’ access to Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services.
Bubuche said that the Work Bank and other partners were supporting the state to provide HIV services in 185 facilities before the interventions of UNICEF and the EU.
The director also disclosed that the HIV prevalence rate in the state was 4.0 per cent in 2005, but with the Work bank and other partners’ support, it dropped to 2.9 per cent in 2007.
‘It further dropped to 1.0 per cent in 2010 and plunged to 0.8 per cent in 2012.
“However, the prevalence rose to 1.4 per cent in 2016, but the UNICEF and EU MNCHN PMTCT intervention has reduced the prevalence to 0.6 per cent as at 2018,’’ he said.
Bubuche said that when the World Bank project ended, the state relied on other partners, but was able to provide HIV services only in secondary facilities.
The director said that the state was, even at the secondary facilities, unable to provide adequate HIV test kits and other consumables, adding that it was UNICEF and the EU that eventually assisted.
Bubuche said that it was UNICEF and EU that assisted the state to scale up HIV services, especially the PMTCT to 255 Primary Health Care facilities across the wards.
“They developed the capacity of all our staff to provide quality PMTCT services in the 225 PHCs and ensure an adequate supply of commodities such as test kits and other consumables.
“UNICEF and EU also engaged experts, to mentor our health officers in the facilities to adopt best practices in PMTCT service delivery, and integrate health services with community structures.
“The Ward Development Communities and Traditional Birth Attendants are now creating demand and mobilising pregnant women to go for antenatal care and access MPTCT services,” he said.
Bubuche said that the State Government would soon train laboratory personnel on Dry Blood Sample collection, to enhance HIV diagnosis among infants.
He also said that the government had created two budget lines for HIV intervention in the state’s ministry of health and Agency for the Control of Aids.