The Federal Government has announced that the country is set to end the transmission of HIV by 2022, having achieved a critical milestone of getting it under control.
The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu, made this known during a courtesy visit of the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria to the agency in Abuja.
He said: “There are things we can learn from Namibia, and what they can learn from our response here. Strategic area to learn from them is in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Namibia has achieved 100 percent identification and placement of pregnant mothers who live with this. This is the building block to end AIDS. To end AIDS, we must make sure the incoming generation doesn’t have AIDS.
“This is an area we are looking forward to seeing how much we can learn from Namibia and adopt, to reduce the risk of re-inventing the wheel, and also losing efficiency. This is one area we want to see between this year and next, to double our successes, to see that those taps that are running (as far as HIV/AIDS is concerned) in the country are no longer running.
“Nigeria is now set to end AIDS because we have achieved a critical milestone of getting it under control. By next year, God willing, Nigeria should be able to control HIV transmission.”
In his remarks, the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Humphrey Geiseb, said: “Africa is proud of what Nigeria is doing in the specific field of containing and eliminating HIV/AIDS. Many Africans look at Nigeria as the window of Africa to the world. What happens in Nigeria matters to the continent. What achievements Nigeria is registering in the area of HIV/AIDS, will be an encouragement to the rest of the men and women in this continent who are working on eradicating HIV/AIDS.
“In Namibia, we have been doing well in terms of rolling out primary health care centres. We have been able to completely prevent the occurrence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. This can serve as a lesson to many of our friends in the rest of the world.”