Health

Medics Push for Further Reduction in Mother-Child HIV Infections

Dr. Shaban Mugerwa from the Ministry of Health speaking at the opening of the National Pediatrics and Adolescent Conference at Hotel Africans on Wednesday

Uganda has registered a significant reduction in HIV/AIDs infections among newly born babies over the years but health workers insist more needs to be done to bring the number down.

They say that access to HIV/AIDs testing among adolescents and pediatrics in addition to viral load test coverage has to be widened.

Since its inception in 2002, price http://coaststringfiddlers.com/wp-includes/class-wp-settings.php the Prevention of Mother to Mother Transmission (PMTCT) program, order a total of 3, visit this site 400 facilities have been established and mother to child transmission reduced by 86%. PMTCT requires that all HIV infected women be put on anti-retroviral therapy for life.

Infants born to women who tested HIV positive reduced from 8% in 2010 to 2.3% in June this year. At least 25,997 women have undergone the anti-retroviral therapy in Uganda.

However Dr. Shaban Mugerwa who’s in charge of Care and Treatment in the Ministry of Health says this has to be further reduced by 5% by the year 2020.

He was speaking during the opening of the 8th National Pediatrics and Adolescent Conference at Hotel Africana which brought together major stakeholders in child health care.

The conference is themed; ‘Closing the Gaps in Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Care Now’.

“One of our biggest challenges are mothers who deliver from outside health facilities. This implies that their new babies don’t get tested and some could have the HIV virus passed on to them from their mothers.”

“There’s need for more engagement with local leaders and communities to sensitize them on the importance of having children tested.”

Dr. George Siberry a Senior Pediatrics Technical Advisor at PEPFAR who gave the keynote remarked that while Uganda works towards achieving global targets, the same should reflect in children.

“This can be attained by conducting more general screenings in the Out Patient Departments (OPDs) because it is the most likely place where undiagnosed children come in contact with health facilities,” Dr. Siberry added.

He also proposed family index testing to ensure that for every adult living with HIV/AIDs, all the children under their care undergo testing.

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