Nigeria: 160,000 Kids Living With HIV in Nigeria, Christian Council Raises Alarm

Abuja — …Says only 45,000 receiving treatment

The Christian Council of Nigeria, CCN, has raised the alarm over the high rate of children living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, in Nigeria, saying of an estimated 160,000 children living with HIV in Nigeria, only 45,000 are receiving treatment.

CCN urged the government and other stakeholders to intensify efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS among children in the country.

The council made the call weekend at the close-out ceremony of the HIV intervention programme implemented in collaboration with the World Council of Churches, WCC, in Abuja.

The CCN President, Most Rev. David Onuoha, represented by Archbishop Peter ogunmuyiwa, decried the high number of children living with HIV in Nigeria, stressing the need for urgent action to address the situation.

He said, “Our mission is to identify with the needy and less privileged, and to make a positive impact on their lives. Our efforts have been enriching and impactful. We are committed to combating the HIV epidemic in our society, and we urge all relevant NGOs and government agencies to join us in this crusade.

“While we have made some progress in preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child, we still have much work to do. According to statistics, Nigeria has a high number of children who are HIV victims – 160,000, with only 45,000 undergoing treatment. This is unacceptable, and we must do more to address this issue.”

The WCC representative, Ms Gracias Ross, reiterated the organization’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in the fight against HIV/AIDS, lamented that “160,000 children are living with HIV, but remember that two million people are living with HIV in Nigeria. They will have partners and children. In what condition will these children be born?

“We must change things. If these children are alone and don’t have a family, the church has to be their family. This is the calling that we should become the father of the fatherless and fight for the widows and fight for justice.

“You can imagine how many young people don’t have any positive orientation on sexuality. So the Church should be bringing light to these large numbers of young people in Nigeria who are not having information.”

Rev. Dr. Evans Onyemara, the General Secretary of the CCN, appreciated the WCC’s support in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, highlighting the success stories from the programme’s implementation in several states.