Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission a long way off in DR Congo.
Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission programmes are being hampered in the Democratic Republic of Congo by poorly integrated maternal health services, a lack of human resources and a serious shortage of money for treatment. Only one laboratory in the country is equipped to carry out polymerase chain reaction tests for early infant diagnosis, with results taking weeks to reach the health centre that initially took the blood test. According to 2011 government statistics, only 5.6% of HIV-positive pregnant Congolese women were receiving antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission to their babies, despite an official estimate of 36.8%. The closure of some HIV projects and reduced funding for others has led to a nationwide shortage of antiretroviral drugs. Even women who are registered for treatment often have to pay for everything but the HIV test, including their patient card and syringe, and transport costs, according to civil society organisations. (1)
(1.) DRC: End of mother-to-child HIV-transmission still a long way off. IRIN PlusNews, 24 April 2012.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Reproductive Health Matters|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||May 1, 2012|
|Previous Article:||Only 4% of pregnant women start treatment within six months of HIV diagnosis, Kenya.|
|Next Article:||New HIV infections may be highest in men who have sex with men in Africa.|