By Mary Jalingo


A Non-Governmental Organization, Society for the Elimination of HIV Among Children(SEHAC) has called on stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDs in Nigeria to make concerted efforts to stop new HIV infection among children and ensure access to life saving treatment for people living with the virus especial women.
 Mr. Obatunde Oladapo,  National Coordinator,  SEHAC, stated this during the inauguration of the Niger State chapter of SEHAC held at the conference hall of the Dioceasan Health Initiative (DHI)  in Minna recently. 
 Mr. Obatunde Oladapo said the coalition was coming on board at a time when the country was reputed to be contributing the largest burden of mother to child transmission of HIV in the world. 
 He said even though the country was making appreciable progress in terms of increasing access to PMTCT,  there was need for all hands to be on deck if the country and the world at large must attend the 90-90-90 target. 
 The Nation Coordinator called for a unified voice and improved capacity of CSOs towards meaningful and increased engagement in the national and global efforts towards eliminating HIV among children and also ensure that their mothers are kept alive. 
 Also speaking, Alh. Ismaila Garba,  Zonal Coordinator of SEHAC said a lot of children have died as a result of transmission of HIV from mother to children either during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding which he noted could have being prevented through awareness creation. 
 Alh. Ismaila Garba who is also the Executive Director,  AMANA Rural Foundation based in Kontagora, Niger State said there was need to ensure that children as the future of any progressive nation are at the center of a free HIV generation.
 He said education plays a vital role in achieving the 90-90-90 global mandate of zero percent HIV status adding that educated mothers are better informed about specific diseases and how to prevent being infected. 
Also speaking, the Niger State coordinator of SEHAC, Mrs. Mary Jalingo said the objective of the coalition was to empower and engage communities to minimized and overcome barriers to HIV, ANC,  PMTCT and prediatric services. 
 Mrs Mary Jalingo said the coalition intends to promote community interventions that support HIV infected and affected children and their mothers to achieve their full potentials which she noted would no doubt improve their lives. 
 She commended the state government in its efforts at ensuring that it rehabilitate and equipped at least one PHC in each of the wards across the state and urged them to ensure that PHC facilities are equip with life saving drugs and human resources.