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Santa: CADFIN Launch PMTCT Expansion Program

PMTCT Ambassadors posed for a group picture with the A.D.O

PMTCT Ambassadors posed for a group picture with the A.D.O

Child Aid Development Foundation International (CADFIN) has officially launched a program, “Protecting the next generation through Prevention of Mother-to-child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT)” at a ceremony that took place at the Santa Council Hall Friday February 15, 2013.

“In Cameroon there are six new HIV infections per hour, approximately 141 per day and 4,276 every month and 51,315 per year” said Mofor Boniface Assistant Divisional Officer for Santa while officially launching the program.

“In Cameroon, 7,300 babies are estimated to be born HIV positive each year due to mother-to-child transmission” he continued.

HIV he continued is the leading cause of death amongst women of reproductive age and that without any intervention, as many as 45% of infants born to HIV positive mothers will become infected. He described PMTCT as not only about preventing transmission of HIV from mothers to their infants but all about improving maternal and child health.

Dr. Teboh Charles District Medical Officer for Santa presenting the situation of his health district at the launch said, in 2012, of the expected 3497 women for Antenatal Clinic (ANC) only 2339 attended in the various health areas of Santa with 2329 tested for HIV and 114 found positive.

condoms another means of protection on display at the launch

condoms another means of protection on display at the launch

The director of CADFIN Joanes Toulac Jean

The director of CADFIN Joanes Toulac Jean

Of the 114 found positive, only 56 did their CD4 cell count which he said is primordial for effective and subsequent follow up. 74 children were born by HIV positive mothers and 5 tested positive at 6 weeks giving a transmission rate 14.4%.

“This can be reduced to less than 5% if all pregnant women attend ANC and join the PMTCT program” he added.

According to the Director of CADFIN, the main objective of this campaign is to create awareness among the population of women and especially men, reduce the gap of transmission and improve on the number of men that accompany their wives to ANC.

This community based approach adopted by CADFIN intends to developed a common understanding of the problem of HIV infection during pregnancy and breastfeeding, carry out community dialogue, mobilize pregnant women and their partners for HIV testing during pregnancy and after delivery, educating and sensitizing men and training community agents to act as peer educators and peer support groups.

The campaigns targets to reach close to 4000 women and men, 150 girls of child bearing age, 1500 people living with HIV/AIDS and every pregnant women in all the villages and health areas of Santa Health District.

The program is sponsored by ViiV Healthcare and Positive Action For Children Fund UK.

By Abongwa Fozo in Santa.