The Federal Government has been advised to prioritize the elimination of transmission of HIV from Mother-To-Child.
Professor Edamisan Olusoji Temiye, made the call while presenting a paper in Lagos.
He also called for the escalation of public education about HIV transmission, prevention, and treatment.
This, according to him, will reduce to the barest minimum the prevalence of the HIV infection in Nigeria and its transmission to children.
He expressed concern that the campaign against HIV infection had been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and should therefore be revamped.
Corroborating the need for more awareness for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, an Abuja based medical practitioner, Dr. Umar Bala, reiterated that the need for massive sensitization on the issue cannot be over-emphasised.
He warned that HIV epidemic may hit the country if adequate measures are not put in place the authorities concern to halt the spread of the disease from mothers to children.
According to him: “Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the spread of HIV from an HIV-infected woman to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
“Mother-to-child transmission is the most common way that children become infected with HIV, therefore, if women get the needed awareness the transmission will be drastically reduced.
“We must however admit that the COVID-19 pandemic affected many things including the fight against HIV. Now that the COVID is almost over, the government should beam its light on the HIV considering that it is still with us.”
Dr. Bala called on the state and local governments to work closely with the federal government to ensure that women at both the rural and urban centres get the needed awareness on prevention of mother to child transmission of the disease.
“The states and local government must take responsibility and provide the enabling environment for women in their areas to have access to testing in all primary health care centres when they go for antenatal checks.
“The situation where the state and local government shy away from these responsibilities leaving all to the federal government should be changed. The states and local government live closer to the people, they should ensure local women get the needed knowledge on how to prevent their unborn babies from having HIV. “
He, however, warned that even though HIV is not as high as it used to be in the recent past, but “we must not deceive ourselves, the disease is still with us. We must collectively find a way to ensure that no child is born with the disease.”