UNICEF says that access to ante- natal care is the right of every pregnant woman.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday called for the establishment of additional Mother to Child Transmission prevention centres in all primary healthcare facilities nationwide.
An HIV and AIDS specialist with UNICEF, Idris Baba, said in Abuja that such centres would help to reduce new infections among new born babies.
“The rural dwellers should be able to have access to PHCs, and then at the PHCs, there should be PMTCT (preventing mother to child transmission) services,” Mr. Baba said. “So, if a woman comes to any facility, where there is no PMTCT service, she should be referred to where there is services.’’
Mr. Baba said that at present, there is a low level of pregnant women attending ante-natal clinics, stressing that culture and religion are still a challenge. He said it is important for pregnant women to know that PMTCT services can be carried out by all skilled birth attendants.
“PMTCT is a very simple intervention, it’s not a high-tech intervention, it only takes the midwife or the nurse to know that this woman is HIV positive, then do some little intervention in terms of giving her the adequate knowledge that she needs to know about breastfeeding abscess and then provide the drugs.
“She doesn’t need much of deep investigation, so, it is something we can do at the PHC level.”
According to him, UNICEF is partnering with the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna State to train all the midwives on how to carry out PMTCT services. He said that it is the duty of an informed midwife to give the right information to pregnant women.
Mr. Baba said that it is the right of every pregnant woman to attend ante-natal clinics, stressing that stake holders and individuals should do all in their reach to create awareness.