Major Reduction in Transmission of HIV from Mother to Child


Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, has said that the programme for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV has resulted in a major reduction in the spread of the disease from mothers to their babies.
“The programme has also resulted in the reduction of the death rate in infants, as well as protecting the health of mothers,” said Mr. Dalley during his contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 19).
He also informed that nearly 100 per cent of pregnant mothers or approximately 28,000 women attending ante-natal clinics in the public health sector received free HIV tests during 2006/07.
“The health of mothers found with the virus is protected through the provision of free anti-retroviral medication to ensure safe delivery and prevention of transmission of the virus to their babies,” Mr. Dalley said.
He added that “as a result of this programme, 94 per cent of babies born to HIV infected women are HIV negative.”
In the past, HIV was the leading cause of death for children between 0-4 years. However there has been a reduction of paediatric deaths as approximately 85 per cent of infants born to mothers with HIV receive anti-retroviral drugs free of cost at public health facilities.

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