Uganda, Kenya First Ladies to Honor eMTCT Campaign Champions Top story


In short
Uganda First Lady Janet Museveni and her Kenyan counterpart Margaret Kenyatta are to award districts, NGOs and individuals that excelled in Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV eMTCT.

Mwebaze Evelyn Arinanitwe the Public Relations Officer of Reach-Out Mbuya Parish Initiative, a Community Faith-Based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) operating in the districts of Kampala and Luweero says the award ceremony will be on Monday Kenyan First Lady, Margret Kenyatta visits Uganda with her husband Uhuru Kenyatta.

Arinaitwe says Reach out Mbuya is one of the NGOs which has not registered any baby born HIV positive in the previous two years.

Janet Museveni launched the eMTCT campaign in 2013 as part of the government's push to prevent new HIV infections among children by promoting an ARV therapy (ART) given to  pregnant women living with HIV..
The initiative  has reportedly had some positive results for at least four districts where no case of mother to child transmission was registered over the last two years.
The Early this year, the health ministry revealed that districts of  Ngora, Maracha, Lamwo and Nebbi are the best performing in elmination of Mother to Child HIV transmission.
Equally successful was Reach-Out Mbuya Parish Initiative, a Community Faith-Based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) operating in the districts of Kampala and Luweero.

Elimination of Mother-to-child Transmission (eMTCT) intervention reduces the risk of an HIV positive mother passing the virus to her baby.
This intervention has been proved to effectively reduce the number of children infected with HIV from their positive mothers if the intervention is properly implemented and fully utilized.
Effective eMTCT programmes require women and their infants to receive a number of interventions including uptake of antenatal services and HIV testing during pregnancy and use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) by pregnant women living with HIV.
Other interventions are safe childbirth practices, appropriate infant feeding, uptake of infant HIV testing and other post-natal healthcare services.
According to the Ministry of Health, mother-to-child transmission of HIV accounts for 16,000 to 26,000 of the 145,000 new infections in Uganda each year.
Statistics from the health ministry show that the number of babies born with HIV has reduced from about 28,000 in 2011 to less than 8,000 nationally in 2014.
The passing on of HIV from mother-to-child accounts for more than 95 percent of HIV infections in children under 5 years old. 
National HIV prevalence has been rising since its lowest rate of 6.4 percent registered in 2006. Four new infections are diagnosed in 150,000 people annually of whom 20,600 are children.
Uganda follows the most recent guidelines by WHO for eMTCT - Option B+. This involves placing pregnant women on a triple ARV drug regimen, for both the duration of their pregnancy and continuing for life regardless of their CD4 count, protecting the health of the mother and the child.


About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).