Motorcycles to help prevent mother to child transmission

People living with HIV groups implementing a preventing mother to child transmission project in Luwero, Uganda have been given motorcycles to better reach and refer mothers-to-be.

People living with HIV groups implementing a preventing mother to child transmission project in Luwero, Uganda have been given motorcycles to better reach and refer mothers-to-be.

Groups in in the districts of Iganga, Mukono, Luwero and Nakaseke will receive the bikes to reach mothers who are HIV positive and those that need to access crucial preventing mother to child transmission (PMTCT) services. The coordinators will use this transport to reach drama groups, enhance the referral system and also ensure that activities budgeted for are implemented according to plan.

Funding for the bikes has come from the International HIV/AIDS Alliance Uganda as part of a three year PMTCT community referral strengthening project funded by ViiV HealthCare’s Positive Action for Children Fund. This project, which started in January this year, is being implemented in partnership with community based networks, groups of people living with HIV and district based health facilities, and in partnerships with various non-governmental organisations and faith based organisations.

“We thank the International HIV/AIDS Alliance for all the things they have been done for people living with HIV and AIDS…We appreciate that the motor cycles will go along way in enabling us to deliver a better service,” said Abdalla Ziwa head of Nyimbwa PHA group.

Edward Mbidde, the Luwero HIV and AIDS focal person, observed that: “The International HIV/AIDS Alliance in supporting people living with HIV has enabled individuals to work as a community district in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.”

He noted that about 35,000 people are HIV positive in Luwero and that the 2011 Uganda National Demographic Health Survey put the HIV prevalence in Luweo at 9.0 %, higher than the national prevalence of 7.5%.

“Prevalence of HIV in pregnant women in Uganda is at 7.5 %, and this calls for not just addressing transmission of HIV to unborn children but a zero reduction of infection to the new born. This has already been started by the Ministry of Health through E-PMTCT [elimination of Mother to Child Transmission]. This is why we are thankful to International HIV/AIDS Alliance for the ViiV HealthCare’s Positive Action for Children Fund and the PMTCT project,” Kalyesubula added.

Mr. Bwogi Erias from the District Health Officer’s office was happy to note that family planning is incorporated in the PMTCT project being implemented by the groups.

“Much as women who are HIV positive have a choice to bear children, the information about family planning that is given to them helps them to make better decisions, for which we as Ministry of Health are thankful,” he said. He added that increasingly there are new challenges being faced by HIV positive women in making choices in family planning and he hoped that this project will help address some of these challenges.

“As a district and Ministry of Health, we shall continue working with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, and people living with HIV and it will be a great opportunity working with the network support agents since they are working in our facilities of Luwero,” he said.

Erias was happy to note that increased collaborations in tackling HIV and AIDS has meant villages in Luwero are no longer burying three to four people a day as a result of AIDS related deaths. This he noted as a very positive development in the fight against AIDS and HIV.

 

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