March 20, 2013
The National Steering Group for the "Global Plan toward the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive" met with Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu on March 12 to present a report stating that at least 50,000 to 100,000 babies born annually in Nigeria are infected with HIV/AIDS. President Goodluck Jonathan established the national steering group in April 2012 to rally leadership in developing a global plan to eliminate mother-to-child transmission and to keep the mothers alive. The goal was to reduce by 90 percent the number of new HIV infections among children and to reduce by 50 percent the number of AIDS-related maternal deaths. The report indicated that Nigeria has 3.1 million HIV-positive persons; 6 million annual births; 4.1 percent HIV prevalence; and an annual population of 229,480 HIV-positive pregnant women. The report stated, "58 percent [of] women attend Ante Natal Care at least once; 45 percent attend at least four times; 35 percent of births occur in health facilities; 39 percent [of] deliveries [are done] by skilled birth attendants; while HIV babies born annually are between 50,000 to 100,000."