Ministry of health is scheduled to roll out the Elimination of Mother to child HIV transmission campaign in Kampala on Friday this week. The campaign, which is led by the First Lady Janet Museveni was first launched in Ntungamo in March 2013 followed by Lira in May in Lango region, Tororo in Eastern Uganda in July and in September the North Eastern town of Moroto.
The campaign has spread out through all regional referral hospitals, health centers 111’s and 1V’s and some health centre 11’s. Dr Ruth Achieng, the Director General Health services Ministry of Health says the program will target men and women aged 18-45 years residing in Kampala district in the areas of Makindye, Kawempe, Rubaga, Nakawa and Central.
However there will be special attention to couples, cohabiting and married, pregnant and breastfeeding women, their partners and people living with HIV. Some of the services to be offered during the campaign include sensitization on HIV, HIV testing for couples and individuals, condom distribution, family planning and antenatal services.
Others include cancer cervix screening at Kisugu, Kisenyi, Kitebi and Kawaala KCCA health facilities, safe male circumcision and linkage to care for HIV positive clients. According to Achieng all the services shall be free of charge during and after the campaign.
Mother to child transmission is the second major mode of HIV transmission in Uganda after sexual transmission. More than 95 percent of HIV infections in children under five years old are acquired through the Mother to Child transmission. These children have a 50 percent chance of dying before they are two years old but it is preventable.
Dr Ruth Achieng the Director General Health services Ministry of Health states that before the campaign in 2009, there were 22,000 new infections making 18 percent of new infections. However, by June 2013 after two regions of Ankole and Lango region the number went down to 15,000 and currently stands at 8000 new infections.