The Zimbabwean government says it is optimistic of meeting its five percent target in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV by 2018.
By Hamu Madzedze
Addressing journalists at a media workshop organised by the National AIDS Council in Macheke , the deputy national coordinator for PMTCT , Pediatric HIV Care and Treatment in the Ministry of Health and Child Care , Dr Solomon Mukungunugwa said from the survey conducted last year the country has reached 6.7% in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV.
“These results have given us hope as a country that the five percent target is achievable and virtual elimination of pediatric HIV is possible ” said Mukungunugwa.
The deputy coordinator added that once Zimbabwe reaches the five percent target in 2018, the country will be able to apply for a formal validation of its achievements in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV
“Countries believed to have achieved the Elimination of Mother To Child Transmission targets can apply for a formal validation of their achievements and this is the route we want to take ” said Mukungunugwa.
Meanwhile Doctor Mukungunugwa said under the Accelerated Action Plan for the National Scale-up of Infant, Paediatric and Adolescent ART in Zimbabwe 2015-2018 the Ministry of Health and Child Care intends to expand the provision of quality and comprehensive integrated pediatric HIV testing, care and treatment
‘ This will be achieved through ensuring that HIV Exposed Infants HIV status is known at 6 weeks, 9 months and 18 months and increased to 90%” he said.
The Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV programme being spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and its partners has been the major reason for the decline in the number of children being born HIV positive in Zimbabwe.