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Nigerian official hopeful of reduction in perinatal HIV transmission
According to Professor John Idoko, director-general of the National Action Committee on AIDS, various steps are being taken to curb perinatal HIV transmission in the African country.
Speaking to the Nation, he said this includes behavioural interventions, such as encouraging women to exclusively breastfeed their children.
Professor Idoko stated that this is being complemented with pharmacologic interventions, including the use of anti-retrovirals for both women and newborn babies.
"There is hope that perinatal HIV transmission may be greatly reduced in breastfeeding populations," he commented.
Professor Idoko added that feeding babies solely with breast milk is much safer than taking a mixed approach that involves other foods.
As a result, he believes it should "be encouraged" even in places where anti-retroviral drugs are not easy to access for either mothers or babies.
This comes shortly after Dr Abimbola Ajayi of the Lagos State Ministry of Health told NAN that it is perfectly safe for women who are HIV positive to breastfeed their child.
Posted by Alexandra George