The Analyst (Monrovia)

9 June 2014

Liberia Works With Partners Towards EMTCT Deadline

Monrovia — The United Nations Joint Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare have concluded in Buchanan a weeklong Bottleneck Analysis on the current national Prevention of the deadly disease from Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Plan.

The analysis was conducted for the development of the country's elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (eMTCT) Scale-up plan under the H4+ SIDA Grant implementation frame work for Liberia.

The meeting in Buchanan City event brought together 15 representatives from government, UN agencies involved with PMTCT and HIV-related activities, planning and research officers as well as people living with HIV (PLHIV).

The development of the plan for Liberia is in keeping with the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS Global Plan to eliminate the transmission of HIV from mother-to-child.

The initiative is to analyze bottlenecks, opportunities and best practices leading to the development of a prioritized the cost of National Elimination Plan for Liberia.

The development of the elimination plan will drive the implementation of programs around mother to child transmission closer to the global elimination goal for 2015.

In June 2011, UNAIDS launched the Global Plan for the elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and keeping Mothers alive.

After three years of intense efforts by the Government of Liberia and its partners with less than two years remaining before the 2015 deadline for achieving the elimination goal, UNAIDS and UNICEF have been collaborating with the Government of Liberia and partners to reflect on the progress made towards national eMTCT plan targets.

In addition, the eMTCT plan will also guide the transition from “Option A to B/B+ of Liberia's PMTCT Plan and the development of the National Strategic Plan, as well as, Concept note for Global Fund Application under the New Funding Model.

Early this year, the National AIDS Commission and UNAIDS undertook similar initiative under the same H4+ project in River Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru on the national response to HIV and AIDS in the country.

The River-Gee workshops brought together a cross section of 40 participants from each county including superintendents, representatives of line ministries, district commissioners, women groups, youth groups, heads of civil society organizations, city mayors, religious leaders, disabled community, among others.

It was in support of government and partners' decentralization and local government policy of involving citizens in the campaign to prevent the spread of the virus.

The NAC and UNAIDS partnership will lead to the recruitment of county coordinators to continue the National AIDS Commission's work of coordinating the HIV response in the three counties.

The activities are also aimed at ensuring that these counties adopt the multi-sectorial approach in providing HIV services, and to encourage the communities in these counties to take advantage of the use of services that prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

The multi-sectorial approach will incorporate all sectors in addition to the health sector to addressing issues related to HIV and AIDS.

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