Lack of male support has been sighted the major challenge in the eradication of mother to child transmission EMTCT of HIV /Aids to new born babies.
In order to fight EMTCT throughout the country, the Government has today launched the option of B+ a new measure adapted in the fight against the HIV Aids disease. The launch took place at Itojo Hospital ground championed by Janet Museveni the first lady.
The launch was presided over by first lady Janet Kataha Museveni. HIV/Aids option B+ is a lifelong treatment which will be given to expectant mother living with HIV at 14 weeks of their pregnancy irrespective of their CD4 count. Twesigye warns that the lack of male support to their expectant wives to deliver at health centers and test for HIV is likely to affect the program. He says that majority of men in rural areas are still shy to know their sero status, and end up blocking their wives from testing and delivering at health centers.
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Twesigye says that in Ntungamo district 90 percent of expectant mothers attend antenatal clinics but only 40 percent deliver at the health centers. He says the majority prefer to deliver at the homes with the help of traditional birth attendants. Twesigye says this has increased the HIV /Aids transmission from mother to child which now stand at 14 percent.
Jonah Ayebare, a resident of Ncwambura village in Itojo sub county Ntungamo district says the support she received from her husband helped her to deliver two health babies at a health center.
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Peace Alinda, a mother of six from Ruhama County have welcomed the innitiative to involve men in the implementation of EMTCT. Alinda claims that the she lost two children at the hands of traditional birth attendants because of lack of support from her husband.
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Dr. Moses Walakira, the technical director Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids foundation on STAR –South West project says male involvement is important in order for the country to achieve the elimination of mother to child transmission targets by 2015.
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According to the 2011 Aids indicator HIV/ Aids the prevalence in Uganda increased from 6.4 percent to 7.3 percent. The HIV Aids prevalence for south western region stands at 8 percent higher than the national average.