Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mother-child HIV infection 'still high'

By Rehema Matowo ,The Citizen Correspondent

Moshi. Mother-to-child HIV/Aids infection rates in Tanzania are still high with reports that up to 50 per cent of infected children lose their lives within two years, according to recent findings.

The director of Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation (EGPAF), Dr Jeroen Van’t Pad Bosch, revealed this during a capacity-building training course for local journalists.

The training was aimed at improving the skills of local scribes in reporting matters pertaining to programmes and projects on elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Elimination of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission (EMCT) programme within the country is being implemented by EGPAF through the support of the United States aid agency, Usaid, and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr Pad Bosch said up to 80 per cent of pregnant women infected with HIV could lose their lives within five years if they were not treated. He said infected women or mothers should seek treatment once pronouned HIV positive.

He added that mother-to-child HIV transmission had led to high mortality of the children and their infected mothers. He called on journalists to write articles which would sensitise the public on how to address the Aids problem.

A programme officer with the ministry of Health and Social Welfare who is responsible for PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV) Grace Dennis, said the infection rate for children was at 15.7 per cent.