Four million Ugandan mothers tested for HIV

The Ugandan Ministry of Health reports that more than four million mothers have been tested for HIV since the virus was first diagnosed in Uganda 30 years ago.

The Ugandan Ministry of Health reports that more than four million mothers have been tested for HIV since the virus was first diagnosed in Uganda 30 years ago.

According to Dr Shaban Mugerwa, senior medical officer from the Ministry of Health: “The purpose of testing mothers is to prevent HIV passing from mother to child during pregnancy and to ensure the safe delivery of newborn babies.”

While delivering his recent address to stakeholders in the fight against HIV in Soroti town, eastern Uganda, he said: “Since HIV was diagnosed in Uganda, many players, especially the United States government, have supported Ugandans in the fight against the epidemic which is also closely associated with TB.”

National policy on testing

As the search for an HIV vaccine intensifies, there are now nearly 300,000 people on antiretroviral therapy drugs in Uganda according to the 2012 country progress report. An open nature policy initiated and spearheaded by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda has encouraged many development partners to support work to fight the disease.

Baylor College of Medicine is a partner who recently took over three health centres with programmes in West Nile, Western Uganda and eastern regions of the country, covering eight districts in each region.

Doctor William Odoch, programe manager of Baylor College, said: “It’s now a national policy in Uganda to test patients showing signs of tuberculosis and HIV in order to make a diagnosis before administering any drugs.”

 

 

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