News / Africa

    World AIDS Day: Saving Mothers, Saving Babies

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua

    The recent UNAIDS global report cited significant progress in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.  It says there have been fewer infections and fewer deaths among women and their newborns.  One organization has played a major role in that success.

    The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation currently operates 5,000 sites in 17 countries.  That’s up from a mere eight locations 10 years ago, when it started its international program.

    Still a long way to go

    Dr. Laura Guay (Gay), the foundation’s vice president of research, says, “We’re very happy to see the new report that we’ve made significant progress in the last five years with the scale-up of services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission globally.  Whereas in 2004, only about 10 percent of pregnant women had access and were receiving antiretroviral drugs to protect their baby from HIV, in 2009 that number has gone up to 53 percent. “

    Mother, nurse and baby in PMTCT program
    Mother, nurse and baby in PMTCT program

    But Guay says thousands more pregnant women still need access to HIV prevention services.

    “We still have a long way to go.  Forty-seven percent of women still do not have access.  So, while we celebrate the progress that’s been made in the last five years, we look forward to accelerated progress in the next few years so that we can reach the remaining women,” she says.

    With a lot of effort, it can be done

    Health officials, she says, foresee a time when the effort to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) will have succeeded and the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV will be eliminated.

    “In order to do that, it requires a concerted effort from multiple parties and partners.  And very specifically, ministries of health in countries have really gotten behind the message that this is possible for their populations and have invested in making PMTCT a priority for their health programs,” Guay says.

    There’s also been a great deal of international support from PEPFAR – the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and UNAIDS, among others.

    But following the global economic crisis, funding isn’t as free flowing as it once was.

    Dr. Guay says, “I think it’s a challenge for all of us to figure out how to do what we’re doing more effectively with a more cost-effective system, to evaluate models of service delivery.  Look at ways we can improve the efficiencies of our programs.  To look at making sure that these are done in a way that we can get the most effect out of the limited resources we have possible.”

    She says before these programs were available, many women had lost hope of having a child that was not infected with HIV and feared that they, too, would succumb to the disease.

    “Yet, we see then that these women are able to get supportive services.  They’re having HIV negative children.  And those women are then becoming the spokespersons for both the (health) ministry, the facilities and in their community, saying that, you know, this is what can happen if you access the services,” she says.

    The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation supported programs account for 25 percent of the services available worldwide to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora