US spent N5trn on HIV/AIDS in 7 years

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UNITED States (US) government has spent N5 trillion on the prevention of HIV/AIDS in  Nigeria in the last seven years.

The US Director of President’s Emergency Programme for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Mr Eric Goosby, who told newsmen during the meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), on Tuesday, said the US government spent N72.3 billion annually on AIDS care in Nigeria.

He disclosed that there were about 390,000 children born as HIV positive every year worldwide, adding that 72,000 such children were born in Nigeria.

He added the test for women, especially during pregnancy, was to help in referring those tested HIV positive for medical attention and to ensure that they were given anti-retroviral drugs.

He said if such a woman was given an anti-retroviral drugs, it dropped the chances of transmitting to the baby to less than two per cent from 27 per cent.

Goosby believed the rate of HIV prevalence could be reduced in the country, noting that  “this is something we can do. We can do it through the primary health care system that the president and minister of health are supporting in Nigeria and each state is trying to develop it. But we are here to talk with the Nigerian leadership to understand how we can partner to move this forward.”

Kano State governor, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, informed that the meeting was fruitful,  saying “all the governors are willing to work with all partners, both within and outside the country, to ensure that there is zero transmission of HIV from mother to baby.”

In : Health

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