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PMTCT means Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus

When pregnant there is a chance that the mother transmits the HIV virus to the baby. During the pregnancy the baby has a separate blood flow and the chances of transmission is low, but when the motherís CD4 count (immunity levels of cells within the body to fight diseases) is very low during pregnancy it can weaken the placenta and the umbilical cord and then the virus has a chance of being transmitted. However, most infections from mother to child take place during labour and when breast feeding.

It is therefore very important that all women that are in their reproductive age and are planning a pregnancy are aware of the risks involved of transmitting the virus to their (unborn) child.

The prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) program has so far been implemented in the 8 chiefdom communities of Thandizaniís area of operation. PMTCT sensitization has helped in facilitating community awareness about transmission possibilities and ARVs and counseling. The HIV/AIDS treatment education (treatment preparedness) has opened access to and demands for ARV treatment and has also continued to prepare communities for safe and effective use of ARV drugs. This sensitization has helped individuals in the community to increase demand for health services within the health care system and improve on the health and social care needs of the communities at large.

Achievements in 2006:

  • 11 communities visited for sensitization and 1,445 (1,238 females and 207 males) benefitted by attending
  • 6 focus group discussions conducted with mothers during Anti-natal clinic
  • 216 people tested under the PMTCT programme
  • 6 community focus group discussions on male involvement in PMTCT were conducted reaching 60 men
  • Conducted Health Education to women in child bearing age group. 153 females and 45 males were reached
  • 350 leaflets and 100 posters carrying PMTCT messages were distributed during Anti Natal clinics in 4 rural health centres
  • One of the success stories:

    Through PMTCT counseling, many couples have learnt more about how a child can be prevented from contracting a virus at all levels including different feeding options.

    Paul and his wife Susan are one couple who have benefitted from this programme. After undergoing some counseling sessions and proper follow-ups, the couple have managed to have a bouncing baby girl.

    Thandizani Community Based HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care, Lundazi - Zambia


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