STEVE Anjorin, a reproductive health expert with the Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti in Ido-Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti, has advised pregnant women to imbibe adequate HIV/AIDS testing and counseling.
Anjorin gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ido-Ekiti.
He said that pregnant women taking such medical advice, especially during antenatal care, would guard them against mother-to-child transmission of the disease during pregnancy.
According to him, observing COVID-19 protocols, especially by pregnant women, while attending antenatal care should not be at the detriment of imbibing HIV/AIDS testing and counseling.
Anjorin said that apart from preventing mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission, it would also afford pregnant women the opportunity to know their health status and how they could stay healthy.
He said that the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS by pregnant women, especially during ante-natal care, was a veritable platform to reduce the scourge and prevalence of the disease in the country.
“It will amount to double jeopardy for an unborn child to test positive to HIV and AIDS due to the negligence of a negative mother, hence the need for regular testing and counseling.
“The entry point for prevention of mother-to-child services is basically through HIV testing and counseling of women attending antenatal care.
“In any healthcare setting, HIV testing and counseling should be offered to all pregnant women seeking them at various clinics and hospitals.
“Health service providers are also enjoined to mobilise pregnant women and other women of reproductive age to go for testing and counseling,’’ he said.
A1njorin noted that testing and counseling became significant, especially when care providers, mothers’ services and other interventions remained unavailable.
He listed the benefits of testing and counseling in the antenatal setting as reinforcement of safer sex practices, preventing mother-to-child transmission and empowering HIV negative pregnant woman to remain negative.
The expert said aside the COVID-19 pandemic, HIV/AIDS scourge was still on the increase in the country with an adult prevalence of around 4.4 per cent and estimated 3.9million citizens living with the virus.
“The HIV/AIDS menace remains prevalent in spite of concerted efforts at halting and reversing the spread by multiple stakeholders.
“Nigeria still counts among the top countries of the world in terms of those carrying the HIV/AIDS burden,’’ he said.
– April 11, 2021 @ 14:40 GMT |