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HIV: US CDC activates programme against mother-to-child transmission in 13 states

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) has established 126 congregations of its Baby Shower Programme across 13 states in Nigeria. Dr…

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) has established 126 congregations of its Baby Shower Programme across 13 states in Nigeria.

Dr Tim Efuntoye, Prevention Branch Chief, US CDC Nigeria  made the disclosure yesterday during a media roundtable organised by the organisation in Abuja.

The Baby Shower Programme is a US CDC-supported initiative geared towards preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to the child. Also called the congregational approach to prevention of mother-to-child transmission, it involves layering health services, including HIV testing, on to religious celebrations through a coordinated gatekeeper.

Dr Efuntoye said 25,092 persons had participated in the programme and that 94 baby shower events were held between October, 2023 and March, 2024.

He said, “0.3 per cent of the pregnant women screened at the baby shower events were identified as HIV positive .100 per cent of all the HIV-positive women identified were confirmed in Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).”

He, therefore, enjoined pregnant women to pay close attention to their health, attend antenatal sessions regularly and carry out all required tests, including for HIV.

While calling on spouses of pregnant women to support their wives to access healthcare services, including antenatal care, he enjoined religious leaders to encourage their congregants to get tested for HIV before and during pregnancy.

He added that, “Ensure stigma-free, non-discriminatory treatment of HIV- positive worshippers.”

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