Program Areas

Clinical Services

Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT)

NUMAT antenatal PMTCT clinic

Comprehensive antenatal care services available at low-level facilities provide mothers in hard-to-reach areas an equal opportunity to access quality PMTCT services.

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the second-most common mode of HIV infection in Uganda and virtually the only route of infection to children under five years of age. However, research and experience have shown that it is possible to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

In Northern Uganda, with a population of more than 3 million people and an HIV prevalence of 8.2%, it is estimated that 13,542 pregnant mothers are HIV-infected annually. Without PMTCT intervention, 27.5% of these pregnant women transmit the virus to their babies. At least half of those transmissions are preventable just by using the basic PMTCT package. The use of more efficacious regimens would result in prevention of HIV transmission among an even larger proportion of children—approximately 95%—and more than 99% using combined regimen and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), respectively.


Approach

  • Worked in-line with MOH-recommended guidelines and policies
  • Promoted primary prevention
NUMAT IEC PMTCT photo

NUMAT poster targeting pregnant women to get tested for HIV and seek treatment if positive.

  • Provided family planning for HIV-positive mothers
  • Reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV
  • Provided comprehensive HIV care, including psychosocial support, for HIV-positive mothers and their families
  • Worked within existing health care systems and provide technical assistance to improve PMTCT quality to more than 80 PMTCT sites in project districts
  • Built capacity of reproductive health services providers
  • Supported integrated outreach services from health units to internally-displaced persons camps and lower-level health units
  • Promoted male involvement to increase service uptake by HIV-positive women
  • Mobilized, sensitized, and created community demand through information, education, communication materials, and behavior change communication
  • Provided funding to districts and other competent partners to help initiate and scale-up PMTCT services


Specific Activities

  • Offered routine HIV counseling and testing in the PMTCT setting
  • Provided appropriate antiretroviral drugs for PMTCT prophylaxis according to national guidelines in a PMTCT setting, both for the mother and exposed baby
  • Provided cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-positive mothers
  • Integrated young child and infant feeding counseling
  • Provided HIV testing for exposed children according to national guidelines
  • Provided psychosocial support for mother and partner through family support groups (FSGs)
  • Promoted male involvement in the PMTCT program
  • Initiated HIV-positive mothers on HAART through World Health Organization clinical staging and/or CD4 cell counts
  • Initiated mother-baby pair follow-ups through the FSGs
  • Built capacity where gaps are identified
  • Supported supervision of the PMTCT sites
  • Ensured a working logistics supply system with emphasis on the “pull” system

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