Koko Udonquak -Uyo

………….The Wife of President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has asked wives of state governors’ to intensify actions towards the elimination of HIV/ AIDS transmission from mother to child in their respective states.

Mrs. Buhari who spoke at a high-level advocacy meeting on Maternal and Newborn Child Health week (MNCH) with the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel in Uyo, said policies and actions should be geared towards ensuring a healthy mother and child during birth.

Speaking through, Mrs. Tessy Maina, Advocacy and Communications technical officer, Aisha Buhari Foundation, she said accelerating the twice-yearly MNCH week was meant to make to available all services, including HIV services, required for the well-being of women and children.

Mrs. Buhari said health was a developmental issue and should be prioritised, adding that the MNCH week is to ensure that minimal HIV related death are recorded and that we do not have children born with HIV when a woman can access HIV services.

Responding, the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel reaffirmed government commitment towards providing affordable health care service delivery to citizens, saying government places premium on health investment knowing that healthy populations will in-turn create a wealthy population.

In her words “Akwa Ibom state was not lacking behind in doing things that will uplift the standard of people living with HIV and AIDS. Through the Ministry of Health, government has provided enabling environment for health institutions to be able to provide services and support which has had positive impact on the lives of people living with the disease.” Mrs. Emmanuel remarked.

She further said that in her capacity, she has been using her pet project to engage in aggressive awareness campaign and as well sensitize mothers especially at the grassroots on the need for proper medical test during pregnancy in order to avoid mother-to-child transmission, which according to her have yielded much positive result.

In her remarks, the Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet while welcoming the delegation thanked the wife of president for her commitment towards health issues regarding mothers and children in the country and for partnering with the state to champion the course. She as well informed the group that the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Martha Emmanuel at the state level, has been championing various heath outreaches, which according to her has touched many lives.

Also speaking, the Akwa Ibom state for Ministry of Health, Dr. Dominc Ukpong while briefing the delegation, noted that the state has achieved significant progress in the reduction of the prevalence rate from 10.9 percent in 2010 to 2.8 percent in 2018. He attributed the successes recorded to the commitment of the state governor; Mr. Udom Emmanuel whom he said values the health status of his citizens.

A representative of the Director General of NACA, Dr. Funke Oki stated that without the integration of HIV services into MNCH week, Nigeria may not be able to achieve its target of eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV.

Lending voice to the meeting, the state chairman of AKSACA, Dr. Nkeruwem Etok said the state was prepared for the MNCH week, stating that it his belief that the state would achieve the desired results at the end of the week.

16th May, 2017

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