UNICEF Executive Director launches innovative approach to the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Kenya

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake joined the Kenya Government and other partners on Friday to roll out an innovative approach to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies (PMTCT). The initiative includes a combination of interventions and supplies such as a “Mother-Baby-Pack” of antiretroviral drugs and antibiotics, which women can easily administer at home.
The “Mother-Baby-Pack” is part of the government’s Maisha MTCT-free Zone Initiative. This innovative programme is designed to help virtually eliminate mother-to-child-transmission of HIV and pediatric AIDS by 2013 in Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces, where about half of all Kenyan children with HIV live, and by 2015 in the entire country. Without treatment, around half of all children born with HIV will die before their second birthday.
Mr. Lake commended the Kenya government for its commitment to take innovative steps to expand and strengthen the quality of PMTCT services. “Maisha" means “Life” in Kiswahili, and I can think of no better way to describe a programme with the potential to save so many lives. The Maisha Initiative is a significant step forward towards our common goal of virtually eliminating mother to child transmission in Kenya,” he said.
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