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High investments in HIV to save children’s lives – UNICEF


High investments in HIV to save children’s lives – UNICEF

By Tada JUTHA, Maiduguri

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that there must be increased investments and sustenance in HIV to ensure children are born free and safe throughout their childhood and adolescence.

According to the global health agency, 130,000 children are currently living with HIV in Nigeria.

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UNICEF’s Country Repetitive, Peter Hawkins raised the alarm yesterday (Wednesday) to mark World AIDs Day in Maiduguri of Borno state.

He lamented that another 120,000 children died from AIDS related causes during the same period, or one child in every five minutes.

Besides, he added that; “This is a shared responsibility. The HIV response must be increasingly integrated into all ongoing sector plans to save children’s lives.”

Hawkins noted that the COVID-19 response presents an opportunity for Nigeria to take big strides with strategic health system-wide investments for the benefits of children and adolescents.

“That must include meaningful engagement with the affected communities,” he declared; as well as the most vulnerable persons in IDP camps and host communities.

The latest HIV and AIDS Global Snapshot also warned that a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic is deepening the inequalities that have long driven the HIV epidemic.

He lamented that the HIV epidemic has put vulnerable children, adolescents, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers at increased risk of missing life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services.

The UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore; said that rising poverty, mental health issues and abuse are increasing children and women’s risk of infection.

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He warned that more children are infected with HIV by losing their fight against AIDS.

According to him, two in five children living with HIV globally do not know their status, while over 50% of children with HIV are on antiretroviral treatment (ART).

High investments in HIV to save children’s lives – UNICEF

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