20 July 2018

Tanzania: Good News in Tanzania As Few Mothers Pass HIV to Newborns

Photo: South African Department of Health
South African Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane Zulu addresses the session “HIV and Key Populations in Africa: Business Unusual”. The session brings together a cross section of some of the continent’s leading implementers of key population programming

Musoma — In Mara region, only 16 children out of 988 who were born of mothers living HIV, have been found to be positive for the virus.

The new data comes as a new development in the efforts to combat mother to child transmission of HIV. The children were born in Mara region between October 2017 and March this year after their mothers were involved in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMCT) program run by Ariel Glaser Pediatric Aids Healthcare Initiative (AGPAHI), a non-governmental organization that supports HIV and Aids activities in Mara region.

Speaking here on Thursday, the AGPAHI Managing Director, Dr Sekela Mwakyusa said that her organization carried out voluntary testing to more than 50,000 pregnant women in the region. During the voluntary testing of 162,389 people, 4,482 of them were found HIV positive, including 265 children.

Dr Mwakyusa said that her organization started working in Mara region since 2016. During that time, she said, only 25,821 people living with HIV were receiving treatment. The number of people receiving ARVs had increased to 31, 729 by March 2018.

However, the male turn out in HIV services- including testing- was still low. The organization was working to ensure more men get tested and start treatment.

The Deputy Minister for Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Faustine Ndugulile further noted that the government was working with different stakeholders; including AGPHAI to improve HIV/Aids services.

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