As the world commemorates 2020 International Women’s Day (IWD), AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called for the elimination of Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.
Steve Aborisade, the Advocacy and Marketing Manager of AHF-Nigeria, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, stressing that the call was also for world leaders to ensure more inclusive and equitable world.
Aborisade said that the IWD campaign, commemorated annually around the globe on March 8, is combined with the advocacy actions that seek to inspire change for gender equality, “thus, the need to advance equality for women and girls.”
He stressed the need to also celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political contributions women made throughout history and today.
Dr Echey Ijezie, the Country Programme Director of AHF-Nigeria, said the foundation focused on successes recorded in MTCT of HIV and AIDS in the country.
He said that AHF was however concerned about what more could be achieved in ensuring women who are HIV positive give birth to HIV-free babies.
He added that “most importantly, the need to moderate the barriers hindering MTCT services uptake in the country by several women and bridging those gaps to ensure that Nigeria eliminates transmission.
According to Terri Ford, the AHF Chief, Global Advocacy and Policy, women and girls account for more than half of the 37.9 million people living with HIV.
Ford said “if we’re to end the epidemic, top priority must be to ensure women have access to the tools they need to succeed.
“That must start with guaranteeing equality and safety for every woman globally and making vital healthcare services available to all who need them.”
The chief, however, acknowledged various difficulties women face in many aspects across the world, stressing that adequate and affordable medical care must not be one of those barriers.
This, he said, would avail women equal opportunities for personal health and overall success.
He further urged leaders at all levels of government, community and businesses to strive for gender equality and create a world that ensures women and girls are safe and secure.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AHF is the largest global AIDS organisation currently providing medical care and services to over one million clients in 43 countries including Nigeria