50 per­cent drop in ba­bies born with HIV

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Than­deka Moyo

ABOUT 82 per­cent of HIV pos­i­tive preg­nant women in Zim­babwe are ac­cess­ing pre­ven­tion of mother to child trans­mis­sion (PMTCT) drugs, up from be­low 50 per­cent in 2011, a re­port shows.

The num­ber of chil­dren born with­out HIV from in­fected par­ents has dropped by 50 per­cent due to the avail­abil­ity of PMTCT.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2016 SADC Gen­der Pro­to­col Barom­e­ter, Zim­babwe reached and ex­ceeded 50 per­cent by last year, which was part of the 17 tar­gets given to ev­ery coun­try in the re­gion.

“Key in­di­ca­tors of the sta­tus of women in Sadc coun­tries shows that 82 per­cent of HIV pos­i­tive preg­nant women in Zim­babwe are re­ceiv­ing PMTCT. De­spite the pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment, Zim­babwe, Le­sotho, Botswana, Mozam­bique, Namibia, South Africa, Swazi­land and Zam­bia still have adult preva­lence rates of over 10 per­cent,” read the doc­u­ment.

The doc­u­ment shows that gen­der dis­par­i­ties con­tinue to be a ma­jor driver of the pan­demic as women ac­count for 58 per­cent of those liv­ing with HIV in the sub­Sa­ha­ran re­gion.

“Anal­y­sis in all the 11 chap­ters of the barom­e­ter shows that sig­nif­i­cant progress has been made in the re­gion to im­prove the sta­tus of women. The barom­e­ter ranked Zim­babwe num­ber seven out of 14 in Sad­c­for putting ef­forts to achieve all the tar­gets that were in the Sadc Gen­der Pro­to­col.

“With a nine per­cent­age point im­prove­ment, Zam­bia and Zim­babwe reg­is­tered the greatest im­prove­ment from 2011. Zim­babwe’s greatest score was in ed­u­ca­tion while the low­est was in HIV.”

In June 2016, Sadc gen­der min­istries adopted the re­vised Sadc Gen­der pro­to­col aligned with the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs) Bei­jing Plus 20 and Agenda 2063.

The new agenda sets out an am­bi­tious roadmap for the re­gion to ac­cel­er­ate and en­hance progress on achiev­ing gen­der equal­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Avert, an in­ter­na­tional HIV in­for­ma­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion, Zim­babwe has 95 per­cent of health fa­cil­i­ties pro­vid­ing the PMTCT ser­vice.

“Since 2009, there has been a 50 per­cent drop in the num­ber of chil­dren born with HIV,” reads the state­ment.

“The coun­try is rolling out Op­tion B+ whereby HIV­pos­i­tive moth­ers will re­ceive an­tiretro­vi­ral drugs for life. This is in line with the most re­cent World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion treat­ment guide­lines - a promis­ing move for Zim­babwe’s HIV re­sponse.”— @thamamoe .

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.