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.