New programme in Lesotho intends to stop the increase of HIV
Life saving Programmes: This programme is specifically for pregnant HIV infected mothers. This programme provides ARV drugs for the pregnant mothers as it was effective during 2008 and 2009. Only three of the 198 children born in that district were HIV-positive while rest of them was safe. This past January, 100 pregnant women walked three kilometers led by a police band, to focus the launch ceremony.
Many were present for this such as Lesotho’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng, UNICEF Chief of HIV and AIDS, Jimmy Kolker, WHO, Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Baylor International AIDS Initiative, Pediatric AIDS Institute and Mothers2Mothers , along with chiefs of diplomatic missions and NGO partners.
Dr. Ramatlapeng said “It is the aim of the Government of Lesotho to ensure that all children in this country are born HIV free. Lesotho is committed to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV before 2015,” She also confirmed that she aims to make the Mother-Baby Pack available in all of the country’s 194 health centre’s by the end of the year.
UNICEF’s ultimate purpose: Every Antenatal Care Clinics in the country will provide this package of ARV medicines and antibiotics in order to protect the health both mother and the child. This package will include HIV positive pregnant women who are already on anti-retroviral treatment, pregnant women who test HIV positive during their first antenatal visit and HIV negative pregnant women who are receiving vitamin tablets. The three boxes come with a leaflet with understandable instructions on which drugs the mothers and babies should take.
Mr. Kolker said “UNICEF’s goal is to eliminate vertical transmission of HIV from mother to child and to ensure that all children are born HIV negative,”