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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid