By Raisa Okwaras,
The National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) yesterday named Mother-to-Child (MTC) infections as a major setback in the containment of HIV-AIDS.
The National Stakeholders Meeting on HIV/AIDS Response took place yesterday June 28, 2022 where they assembled to review the advancement (or lack of) towards the fight against HIV/AIDS.
During the meeting, NASCOP CEO Rose Wafula said that the current rate of MTC stands at 8.3 percent. This is 3 percent higher than their containment goal. She also stated that the new HIV/AIDS infections are prevalent in adolescents and the younger population.
According to her, some of the main reasons behind the high MTC rate include stigma and unpredictability on access to the services.
However, the CEO mentioned that it is sad that the majority of the new infections fall under the adolescents and the younger population. With this, NASCOP is working with hospitals and health clinics to lower the HIV infection rate among the women in the reproductive age group. In addition, they are also working on putting structures in place to maintain the negativity status of those negative and to promote timely and efficient treatment to those who tested positive.
Some of the control measures put in place by NASCOP include putting those that test positive on immediate treatment. Also, they are working on enhancing support around the vulnerable women. They are doing this by involving caregivers and the clinic attendants in the administration ARVs and ensuring that children that contracted the virus from the mother are put on them with immediate effect.
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Another setback to Preventing Mother-to-Child Transfer (PMTCT) is stigma, where the mother fears judgment and ridicule from other people when they find out her HIV status. With this, NASCOP will improve the measures to promote awareness to reduce misinformation.
The meeting was also put to ensure uninterrupted supply of commodities at the county level during the August general elections in Kenya.
This article was first shared by Capital FM.