By Akinwale Kasali
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, revealed that at least 2,131 pregnant women have tested positive to Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV.
Idris gave the statistics while briefing pressmen on activities of the ministry, at Alausa, Ikeja, explained that the $9.6 million grant from donor agencies further assisted in conduct of AIDS indicator survey, implementation and provision of technical support in Epe, Ikorodu and OshodI-Isolo councils.
Idris, added that the number was discovered after conducting test for the pregnant women during their visit to the State-owned medical facilities, while 3,876 children were placed under antiretroviral therapy within the last one year.
According to him, “At least 38,791 pregnant women know their HIV status out of which about 2,131 (HIV positive pregnant women) were enrolled for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission program.
“By the end of 2017, the support provided through Global Fund was able to avail a minimum of 226,768 persons, who were 15-year and above, with free test.” After the test, the commissioner said that 10, 623 persons were discovered living with HIV and placed on treatments in the three councils.
He however, stated that plans had been concluded to establish a Bio-containment and Bio-Safety Laboratory, BSL, in Lagos State, saying, “This will aid accurate and prompt diagnose of highly pathogenic infectious diseases and incidents of environmental toxicity in the state.”
Idris stressed that the Bio-containment and Bio-Safety Laboratory would be sited within the premises of the Lagos Mainland Hospital, Yaba Lagos, with the task to prevent Ebola and other dreaded diseases. He stated that the facility which was being funded with support from the Global Partnership Programme (GPP) Canada, was a fall-out of successful containment of Ebola outbreak in 2004.
According to Idris, bio-samples would be stored in the bio-bank of the Laboratory for medical research and international collaboration on research and discovery.
He said already, the Ministry had partnered the Global Emerging Diseases Treatment Consortium to train identified officers in the State Civil Service on Biosafety, Bio-banking, Biosecurity and Biocontainment, while the design and construction of the Laboratory has been completed and would be installed before the end of June this year for possible take off in July.