700 pregnant women infected with HIV in Bayelsa

A United State-based non-governmental or­ganisation (NGO), PACT has revealed that 700 pregnant women have been infected with HIV in Bayelsa State.

According to PACT, out of the 50,000 preg­nant women tested in the state for the Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS, the 700 pregnant women were discovered to have been infected and have been placed on antiretroviral prophylaxis.

The NGO also dis­closed that 300 HIV in­fants were exposed from their mothers.

Nigeria’s Director of PACT, Mr. Trevor Maisi­ri, who made this known during the launch of the second phase of the community-based Pre­vention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PROMOT 11) project, said the first phase lasted four years.

He said though 294,000 were reached with HIV messages, over 50,000 pregnant women tested for HIV, received their results, while al­most 700 pregnant women were placed on antiretroviral prophy­laxis.

Maisiri further dis­closed that over 670 people have so far been trained on the latest Prevention of Mothers to Child Transmission (PMTCT) approaches and techniques, just as over 300 HIV exposed infants were tested for HIV at six weeks.

According to Maisiri, PACT as an organisa­tion had been working with the Bayelsa govern­ment with funding from Chevron to increase community awareness of the disease.

Speaking on the occa­sion, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Chevron Nigeria Lim­ited, Deji Haastrup, said PROMOT 1 was a huge success, saying it reduced Bayelsa State’s prevalence rates from 9.1% to 3.8% in 2010, the third best in the country.

Represented by Esi­maje Brikin, the compa­ny’s area manager, West, Mr. Haastrup applauded the programme, say­ing the concept was a private sector-led so­cial sustainable, com­munity-based initiative meant for the Niger Delta people.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Kojo Omietimi, com­mended Chevron for sponsoring the project, saying the programme came at an ideal time.

Kate

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