240 Pregnant Women in Lwengo Enroll For ARVs

2879 Views Lwengo, Uganda

In short
At least 240 pregnant women in Lwengo District have been selected to undergo antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in an effort to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Aids.

At least 240 pregnant women in Lwengo District have been selected to undergo antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in an effort to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Aids.
 
The women mostly from the villages are to undergo Option B+ which entails giving ARVs to pregnant women from 14 weeks of pregnancy throughout labour and breast-feeding.
 
At the official launching of the programme at Kyazanga health centre IV today, the District Health Officer, Dr. Fred Kaye, said they have selected pregnant women from poor families in rural areas where the birth rate among HIV positive women is very high and it is very difficult for such mothers to get adequate antenatal care.
 
Dr. Kaye explained that many women live in hard to reach villages with no knowledge on preventing unintended pregnancies and those pregnant women who tested HIV-positive cannot get services that prevent HIV infections from mothers to their children.
 
He also said that the spread of HIV in Lwengo district is very high and the women in rural areas are the most affected because they cannot negotiate for condom use.
 
Deborah Nanfuka, a resident of Keikorongo village in Kyazanga Sub County, explained that she tested HIV-positive in 2012, but it was very difficult to get antenatal care at the nearby heath centre when she was pregnant and her child got infected.  She said that her family was enrolled for ARVs at Kyazanga health centre IV.
 
The World Health Organization and Uganda Ministry Health preferred Option B+ as one of the effective measures to eliminate new pediatric HIV infections by 2015.
 
 
The results of the 2011 Uganda Aids Indicator Survey (UAIS) indicate that HIV prevalence among women is higher at 8.3% than in men at 6.1%. Out of the estimated 1.6 million women who get pregnant annually in Uganda, 6.5% are living with HIV which translates to 104,000 pregnant women whose babies are at risk of acquiring HIV each year.
 
With an average transmission rate of 30%, it was estimated that about 31,200 babies would be infected with HIV in the year 2012 alone through mother to child transmission if no intervention is taken.
 
The manager of TASO Masaka branch, Madinah Nakasi, said that they have started encouraging men to get HIV counseling and protect their spouses from HIV. She added that they have also mobilized communities for Elimination of Mother To Child Transmission (EMTCT) services and have allocated resources for the same.
 
The ministry of health also introduced a transition from Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) to EMTCT to reduce the risk of transmission from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, labour, delivery and breast feeding to less than 5 percent nationally.