The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday expressed confidence that Kaduna State would end all new cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS by 2020.
UNICEF’s Chief of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Ms Dorothy Nbori-Ngacha, said this shortly after her team’s meeting with the Kaduna State Executive Council at Government House, Kaduna.
Nbori-Ngacha explained that to achieve the target, the state intend to reach 90 per cent coverage, where all pregnant women in the state would have access to preventive services.
She said that the state government was committed to achieving the target, considering the huge amount of resources released for HIV response.
The official explained that she was in the state to brief the council on what UNICEF, in partnership with the state government, was doing to address the scourge of HIV in the state.
“We went to the council to know what has been achieved in terms of response, how the state is faring and where we want Kaduna state to be by 2018.
“On where Kaduna is, I want to say that the HIV prevalence trend is going down and has continued to go down.
“Although the ongoing HIV/AIDS Indicator Survey would give us the current prevalence rate, early indicators have shown that the prevalence trend is on the downward trend.
“There is also an upward trend in the coverage of essential services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, treatment of children as well as adolescent and young person services,’’ she said.
Nbori-Ngacha, however, raised alarm over deaths among adolescent and young persons, which she noted had continued to rise in the state, while that of children and adult was going down.
“We need to accelerate actions at finding the adolescent, test them and put the positive on treatment and keep them on treatment,” she said.
She called on the media, communities, families and relevant stakeholders to join hands with UNICEF in ensuring that these adolescents are found and treated. (NAN)