August 28, 2008
Mother-to-Child Transmission Still High in Uganda
Despite the government’s continued efforts to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission through antiretroviral (ARV) regimens, the number of Uganda’s children infected with HIV during pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding remains high, IRIN/PlusNews reports.
Providing positive mothers with ARV therapy during pregnancy reduces the risk of transmission to children to below 2 percent. However, 20,000 Ugandan children are infected annually, accounting for 42 percent of the country’s HIV/AIDS cases.
According to the article, an estimated 70 percent of Ugandan women have access to services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), which were first implemented in 2000 in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, and the northern districts of Arua and Gulu.
Today, PMTCT services are available at most county-level and district health centers, but roughly the same percentage of women gives birth at home, making it impossible to administer ARV medication to them in order to prevent transmission to their children.
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