Advanced efforts have been made by several African countries to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV with many southern African countries achieving over 80% coverage of antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis. By contrast, West and Central Africa continue to lag behind at 23% (16%-44%) coverage. The gap of reaching the 80% coverage target for anti-retroviral prophylaxis is concentrated in only a few countries. Nigeria alone accounts for 32% of the gap with the Democratic Republic of Congo a far second at 7%.
Though there has been notable progress in the incidence of paediatric HIV in the country, Nigeria presently carries the highest burden of new pediatric HIV infections and was responsible for a quarter of all new HIV infections among children among the global priority countries in 2013 – nearly 51 000 [44 000–60 000] cases.
The Nigerian national goals are adapted from the WHO 4-pronged approach to primary prevention of MTCT, and center around achieving these three targets:
The national goals are ambitious but achievable through strong state leadership of elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) programs and the use of innovative approaches. The goal of HSDF’s eMTCT team is therefore to strengthen state-led execution of eMTCT programs in order to support the states to achieve the national targets. We support state-led execution by increasing the availability of quality eMTCT data and facilitating its utilization for decision making.
Our team provides technical assistance to 7 ‘high burden states’ to strengthen their efforts to scale up eMTCT interventions. These states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano, Nasarawa and Rivers.