The UN Children’s Fund on Friday says it has initiated the screening of every pregnant woman in all the 323 main Primary Healthcare Centres in Bauchi State for HIV, NAN reports.
It said it has also provided those confirmed positive with anti-retroviral drugs.
The Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Nigeria, Bauchi Field Office, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, disclosed this at a news conference on the activities of the organisation in Abuja.
He said the move was to actively prevent mother-to-child transmission of the infection.
He added that “free commodities have been supplied to all 323 main PHCs in the state to ensure treatment.
“UNICEF also provides free ante-natal care, post-natal care, and hospital deliveries in all the main PHCs in the state.
“This includes screening of every pregnant woman for HIV and providing the ones confirmed positive with anti-retroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission.”
Pathak stressed that UNICEF, in fulfilling its obligations in partnership with the state government toward ensuring child survival, had trained 1,200 volunteer Community Oriented Resource Persons in some hard-to-reach communities on Integrated Community Case Management of common childhood illnesses.
He said the CORPs were to continually deliver treatment to common childhood illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea, with guidelines to follow in their various hard-to-reach communities.
Pathak revealed that “the volunteers, who also cover 1,200 settlements, are from the settlements they cover and also reside within.
“They are kitted with tools and commodities necessary for easy diagnosis and treatment of children aged two months to under five years.”
He explained that in addition, UNICEF engaged the services of 45 health workers to visit hard-to-reach communities that found it difficult to access standard healthcare services.
The health workers, which he said included nurses/midwives, community extension workers, record officers and volunteers, were to provide integrated services like ante-natal care, post-natal care, immunisation, management of labour and delivery of pregnant women.
Other health services include nutritional screening, screening and treatment of common childhood illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and treatment of common ailments.