By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Children in Nigeria are suffering from about 22,000 new HIV infections, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a report released on Tuesday 1st December 2020.
Also, almost 15 per cent of global AIDS-related deaths in children and adolescents globally occur in Nigeria, the UN agency disclosed.
It declared: “In Nigeria, 13,000 children aged 0-14 years died of AIDS-related causes in 2019.”
The new HIV infections occurred in children aged 0-14 years.
UNICEF therefore warned in the report that children are being left behind in the fight against HIV.
Elaborating on the research findings, UNICEF emphasized that “approximately every minute and 40 seconds, a child or young person under the age of 20 was newly infected with HIV last year, bringing the total number of children living with HIV globally to 2.8 million.”
UNICEF warned of Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) disruptions to HIV service delivery in one third of high burden countries.
“In Nigeria, about 22,000 new infections occurred in children aged 0-14 years in 2019,” UNICEF stressed, and expressed concern in the report that children are being left behind in the fight against HIV.
“Prevention efforts and treatment for children remain some of the lowest amongst key affected population.
“In 2019, a little more than half of children worldwide had access to live-saving treatment, significantly lagging behind coverage for both mothers (85 per cent),” UNICEF said.
It pointed out that nearly 110,000 children died of AIDS that year.
World AIDS Day was observed on Tuesday 1st December 2020.