ABUJA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- A total of 300 expectant mothers who tested positive to HIV delivered uninfected babies in Nigeria's capital city Abuja in 2012, an official of a government-owned medical facility said on Monday.
Angela-la Smart, Superintendent in charge of Mararaba Medical Center in Abuja told journalists that the HIV positive women were safely delivered of the babies, having accessed the Prevention from Mother to Child Treatment (PMTCT) at the state-run facility, noting the government was happy about the development considered as a success story by the hospital management.
The official said during ante-natal clinics, the expectant mothers were counseled on the need to establish their HIV status to enable them to have uninfected babies. "We counseled them, so at the end of the day, every woman goes for the ante-natal because she knows that once she does this, her baby would not be infected if she follows the rules and regulations given to her," she said, adding the health center usually encouraged women to register at the ante-natal clinic as soon they became pregnant, in order to detect any problem.
Smart, however, expressed disappointment at the underfunding challenges plaguing the health facility, while encouraging the government to do more in providing up-to-date equipment and recruit more health workers to aid the effort of the hospital management.
According to her, the health facility is poised to record greater successes, especially in the area of mother-to-child treatment of the HIV infection, if government provides more equipment and funds. "This is more necessary just as it is needful for government to employ adequate health personnel, since most state-run hospitals were under-staffed," she added.
In 2009, Nigeria's National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) focused on the prevention of new HIV infections, laying major emphasis on the mother-to-child HIV transmission, which reportedly accounted for a large percentage of the cases.