50 percent drop in babies born with HIV
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 .