Mother-to-child HIV increases … in E/Region

Mr.Kwaku Agyeman-Manu,Minister of Health designateEaster Region continues to record high cases of mother-to-child transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in spite of the numerous measures put in place to prevent it, the Regional Technical Coordinator for the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) Ms. Golda Asante has said.

She mentioned free HIV-testing and anti-retroviral drugs for pregnant women infected with HIV and counselling as some of the measures.

Ms. Asante in an exclusive interview with The Ghanaian Times, here, said that according to the Eastern Regional Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) analysis on early infant diagnosis after birth, 245 infants tested positive last year as compared to 89 positive cases recorded in 2015.

She called on all stakeholders and persons living with HIV, to embrace and go by the measures of preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) to ensure a reduction rate in the country with zero new infections.

Ms. Golda regretted that some women refused to patronise the hospitals when pregnant, adding that they only do so when they are about to deliver.

“Some visit the herbalist and do all kinds of things, while others also visit the hospitals but refuse to accept they are positive when they actually test so,” she said, and also intimated that they continued to falsely deny till at the very last minute when they finally accept to attend hospital, by which time they would have transferred the virus to their unborn babies.

Ms. Golda indicated the non-acceptance of status when positive had caused some women to refuse to take the antiretroviral drugs given them which prevents them from passing on the virus to their babies.

“Recently, we had some pregnant women who were given education and counselling but when it got to the testing they refused indicating that they have to ask permission from their husbands before they test and most often their husbands disagree and so they will not test,” she revealed.

Ms. Asante stated that her outfit would continue to intensify and give quality education and counselling to persons living with HIV.

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