Thursday, June 27, 2019
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Farmer happy to access HIV services nearer his village

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imagesAbdulmunmuni Umaru was apprehensive when he went to Comprehensive Primary Health Center Kaboji in Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger State in Nigeria, to collect the HIV test result of his six-month old baby girl. His fears however gave way to joy because the test result came out HIV negative and he barely spent twenty minutes to get to pick up the good news from a near-by clinic. Ordinarily, it would have taken him an-hour-twenty minutes' drive to the General Hospital in Kontagora to access this service.

His wife, Afusat received the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services provided at the hospital which is supported by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) with funds from PEPFAR through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She also volunteered her services as a mentor-mother to the mother-to-mother support group in the hospital. She says that although this is the second time she has accessed PMTCT services, this time, she delivered closer home and is now very active in directing other women to the antenatal clinic. "I encourage and tell them that is important to take their drugs. Sometimes, these women stop coming and go to traditional healers. I talk to them, direct them for proper treatment and encourage them to know their status. Some of them don't even know that they are positive until they come for antenatal clinic," Afusat says.

Ruth, who is now a mentor mother to other women in Progressive Support Group in Mararaba, Nasarawa State of Nigeria, encourages other mothers to go for early antenatal at the clinic to prevent their babies from being infected. "I tell them that there is nothing to be scared of (even if they are positive) since there are drugs you can take to prevent your baby from this problem.

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