The Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, (LSTMB) has expressed its readiness to work together with United State Agency for International Development, (USAID), to tackle the problem of HIV/AIDS transmission from affected mothers to their babies.
The Chairman of the Board, Professor Prof. Adebukonla Adefule-Ositelu, made this known when representatives of USAID paid a visit to LSTMB office in Lagos.
She acknowledged the decision of the International agency to complement the efforts of the state government in ensuring that all residents of the state are healthy, especially pregnant women and newborns in line with the state government’s THEMES Agenda, especially as it concerns the Health and Environment.
The Chairman informed that although LSTMB had been at the forefront of providing needed support to registered Traditional Birth Attendants, (TBAs), over the years in the area of curbing the transfer of HIV from mothers to children, there was the need to still capture newborn deliveries taken in some parts of the state without recourse to any health facilities.
Her words: “The cooperation from USAID to eradicate mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS is a welcome development. For the Traditional Birth Attendants it is a mandatory thing that every pregnant woman that comes around must be tested for HIV.
“One thing we are also looking at is to have a lot of media advocacy to educate people. We are not going to be forcing mothers to have a test but we would be encouraging them so that the mother and child and even husband can be safe by knowing their HIV status. You don’t even need to pay for this test as it is free. ”
She applauded USAID for not limiting its collaboration to modern day medicine practice alone but included traditional practitioners in its plans and programmes, stressing that the gesture is a pointer to the firm belief of USAID in the potency of traditional medicines.
The Registrar of LSTMB, Mr. Olorunkemi Kadiku, used the visit by USAID officials to make a case for Traditional Medicine practice, saying “Things are changing and Traditional Medicine is not only receiving local attention but also globally.’’
” This is because the world is now more focused on preventive and not just curative health which involves integrating Traditional Medicine with orthodox or conventional medicine. The essence of everything is to ensure the wellness of the citizens.”
On his part, Mr. Kolawole Olatubosun, representing United State Agency for International Development, USAID, in Nigeria disclosed that the visit to LSTMB was to explore how to. collaborate and prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS from affected mothers to their babies.