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Mother to child HIV transmission worrisome, says Dr Chiwenga

18 Dec 2020 at 06:16hrs | Views
CHILDREN between the ages of zero and 14 constitute 84 295 out of the 1 356 000 people living with HIV, with more than 90% of them infected through mother to child transmission.

In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, John Mangwiro, Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga lamented the plight of children who continue to be infected at a time interventions and medicines to prevent HIV transmission were available. He was speaking on the occasion of the 4th quarter of the National Validation Committee meeting on dual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis held in Harare yesterday.

"Our women folk must visit healthcare facilities to receive antenatal care and delivery services to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis. Children should also receive post-delivery care," he said.

Chiwenga said the COVID-19 pandemic has, since March, derailed efforts to meet global 2020 targets on HIV.

"Here in Zimbabwe, COVID-19 had been with us since March 2020 and has resulted in the country instituting containment measures including lockdowns to try and mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19."

Chiwenga urged responsible authorities to work towards addressing the bottlenecks affecting the provision of healthcare to HIV positive, pregnant and breastfeeding women and their children and to reach out to communities to help improve health seeking behaviour.

The World Health Organisation has come up with the initiative for countries to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis which has been embraced by Zimbabwe.

Source - newsday
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