Kaduna ranked best performer in MNCH
From Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna
After conducting HIV tests on 126,000 pregnant women within the pace of five days, Kaduna State has been adjudged the best performing state in the second round of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Week.
The development, which was contained in a statement issued by Special Assistant to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan yesterday in Kaduna, said the rating was conducted by UNAIDS, “the United Nations agency coordinating the international community’s effort against the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
The statement read in part, “a letter from the UNAIDS Country Director for Nigeria, Dr. Bilali Camara, commended the governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, for leading the state’s health system to an“unparalleled MNCH Week success in Kaduna State.”
“This is the second time Kaduna State will be winning the top spot, having come first in the first round of the MNCH Week. For this performance, UNAIDS is crediting Kaduna State with USD 15,000 to be used during the next MNCH week.
“Camara noted that Kaduna State won the prize because its health officials were able to counsel and test 126,000 pregnant women for HIV, and to refer HIV positive cases to treatment centres for adequate follow-up. UNAIDS praised Kaduna State for its remarkable success in bringing closer the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission, reduction of maternal and child mortality rates and advancing public health.
“Professor Jonathan Andrew Nok, the state’s health commissioner, welcomed the UNAIDS award as a “further recognition of the determined effort Kaduna State is making to reduce maternal and infant mortality through various initiatives, including immunization and supply of Vitamin A to babies, provision of iron tablets and folic acid to pregnant women, and their careful treatment for malaria. This is a cardinal objective of the MNCH week.”
“Regarding the HIV counselling and testing component for pregnant women that is also central to Kaduna State’s MNCH activities, Professor Nok explained that they are targeted towards the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. “We won first prize in the first round of the MNCH Week because we were able to test 84,000 pregnant women from 12 of the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State. For the second round, we expanded to all the 23 LGAs, and successfully screened 126,398 pregnant women in five days.”
“Results from the tests conducted on pregnant women show an HIV prevalence of 0.3%. This low rate provides a relief from the scary 9% figure that has been claimed as the prevalence rate in the state. The government said it will continue to expand the size of the sample tested for HIV to secure more accurate data.”
Posted from GoBroadsheet