Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Preventing mother to child HIV transmission in Burundi

21
FEB
2012

Dr. Celine Kanyoge of the Ministry of Public Health is interviewed about the new PMTCT initiative (c) ABS

A new national awareness-raising initiative on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) has been launched in Burundi.

It has been launched by Alliance Burundaise Contre le SIDA (ABS), an Alliance Linking Organisation, in partnership with the Office of UNAIDS and UNICEF in Burundi.

The campaign is targeted at couples and young people of reproductive age (including people living with HIV, people who do not have HIV and those who don’t know their status), and will raise awareness of:

  • the risks of early sexual activity
  • voluntary testing before marriage
  • early HIV testing for pregnant women and their husbands ('couples screening')
  • detection and treatment of diseases that may increase the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child

The campaign will last one year and will also promote antenatal care facilities to women and their partners in order to reduce exposure to HIV in late pregnancy.

ABS will be working closely with all of the community based organisations involved.

Eight of the 17 provinces of Burundi will be covered by the campaign: Cibitoke, Bururi, Gitega, Makamba, Mwaro, Muyinga, Muramvya and Rutana. A key focus will be encouraging men to support their wives throughout their pregnancies, from screening to breastfeeding through prenatal consultations and the prophylaxis for prevention of mother to child transmission.

“It is important to have civil society involved in the issue of eliminating the transmission of HIV from mother to child'' commented Rosemeire Munhoz, the UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Burundi, emphasising that thanks to technical and scientific advances the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV is possible, as is the case in developed countries.

    It is important to have civil society involved in eliminating transmission of HIV from mother to child