The Guardian (Nigeria)

‘ Family planning can help prevent transmissi­on of HIV from mother to child’

- From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo

INpreventi­ng Mother to Child Transmissi­on of Human Immunodefi­ciency Virus ( HIV), family planning, according to the first Lady of Taraba state, Barrister Anna Darius Ishaku, has to be considered as one of the most important measure. Speaking yesterday at a two day training on Village Savings and Loan Associatio­n ( VSLA) and disburseme­nt of seed grants to mothers and caregivers of HIV positive children in Jalingo, the state capital she believed that the number of children being born with HIV will reduce, if the above suggested measure is taking into considerat­ion.

Anna , who was of the view that maternal deaths are caused indirectly by Acquired Immunodefi­ciency Syndrome ( AIDS), admitted that HIV “positive women are also at greater risk of dying from pregnancy related complicati­ons than women who are not living with HIV. “

Impressed that the challenges being faced in the course of implementi­ng the ‘ Lafiyan Yara Project ‘ in the state is being addressed, the inability of “some women and caregivers to pay transport cost to return their HIV positive children to Anti Retroviral Therapy ( ART) clinics for follow up and treatment failure among some children” according to her , is now adequately being addressed.

The VSLA, as gathered by The Guardian, has the ability of transformi­ng marginaliz­ed communitie­s world wide , by mobilizing local savings, which provides members opportunit­y to cope with emergencie­s, and as well help manage households cash flow, built a capital and , most importantl­y or crucially, rebuild social networks, solidarity and trust among members helping them stay out of debt.

Optimistic that the gain from the business “is expected to cushion the transport cost for returning the HIV positive children to health facilities for follow up and support other individual­s “she urged mothers and caregivers within and beyond to accept the place of the VSLA as an important part of their financial landscape .”

Also on his part, the Director General, Taraba state AIDS Control Agency ( TACA), Dr. Garba Danjuma, said the training of mothers and caregivers of HIV positive children is geared towards reducing the transmissi­on of the ailment from pregnant women to “their unborn children. “

While encouragin­g pregnant women to always deliver in health facilities so as to have HIV negative children, the agency in collaborat­ion with partners, among which according to him, includes SHF , would continue to work round the clocks to halt the transmissi­on to unborn babies.

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