Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT)

 

PMTCT services
A nurse administers Nevirapine syrup to a newborn at Kawolo GH.

Transmission of HIV from a mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), remains one of the most frequent modes of pediatric HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Six percent of pregnant women receiving antenatal care (ANC) in Uganda are HIV-infected. To reduce transmission risk, these women and their infants need both antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and the appropriate care and support services to help them adopt risk-reducing behaviors. The Ugandan Ministry of Health (MOH) adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) Option B+ in September 2012, which calls for all HIV-infected pregnant women to be put on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for life.  

In collaboration with the MOH, USAID/SUSTAIN supports the implementation of Option B+ interventions at 12 hospitals across Uganda. These services include:

  • High-quality HIV counseling and testing
  • Enrolling HIV-infected women and their infants in care
  • Family support groups for HIV-infected pregnant and postpartum women and their families
  • Integration of family planning into HIV care
  • HIV-exposed infant monitoring and early infant diagnosis (EID) services
  • Infant and young child feeding in the context of HIV counseling and support
  • Retention monitoring of HIV-infected women and their infants.

Achievements

  • Between October 2010 and March 2017, 13,118 HIV-positive pregnant and lactating women were newly enrolled in HIV care and support services.
  • A total of 31,120 HIV-positive pregnant women received ART to reduce risk of mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy.
  • 25,543 HIV-exposed infants were given ARV prophylaxis at birth.
  • Infants born to mothers who tested HIV-positive reduced from 8% in 2010 to 2.6% in March 2017.
  • All facilities have established mother-baby care points, which is a one-stop center for HIV-infected mothers and their infants to receive HIV and postnatal services.
  • Over 760 health service providers from supported hospitals participated in trainings on skills for PMTCT, integrated management of pregnancy and childbirth, birth cohort, use of the longitudinal register and family planning.

Learn more in our EMTCT technical brief!