June 13, 2017
This post originally appeared on the South Africa Dept. of Health.
In a country with over one million pregnant women each year and an HIV prevalence of nearly 30%, South Africa has made significant progress towards preventing Mother-to-Child-Transmission of HIV (MTCT) over the last decade.
The MTCT rate at 6 weeks has declined from 8% in 2008 to 1.5% as per programme data in 2015.
Around 74% of HIV-positive children are now accessing life-saving ART’s, an increase from 53% in 2009. However, work still remains.. There are programmatic challenges that need to be addressed to further decrease the MTCT rate and improve health and HIV outcomes for women and children. There are missed opportunities and we can do more to ensure the delivery of high impact interventions for prevention, treatment, care and support for HIV for all women and children in the country.
South Africa is committed to the elimination of Mother to child transmission of HIV and keeping mothers and babies alive and well in the country. The ‘Last Mile’ Plan for elimination of MTCT (2016 -2021) outlines key targets and strategic approach and key interventions for the next five years for the country. The plan focuses on addressing the key bottlenecks and challenges with key principles of equity, integration, innovation, participation and evidence. Additional focus on reaching the most disadvantaged and most vulnerable communities including those with the highest burden of HIV.
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