Cotonou paediatric ward records over 16,0000 HIV cases

Cotonou- Benin (PANA) -- Cotonou teaching hospital's paediatric ward accounted for 16,071 out of the 25,307 cases HIV/AIDS among children born in Benin's economic capital.
According to medical sources, most of the infants contracted the virus from their infected mothers during delivery or through breast-feeding.
Benin's National AIDS Control Programme officials said the pandemic mainly affected young people.
More than 4,675 boys and girls were infected out of the estimated 40,956 people who were living with HIV or AIDS between 1985 and 2000 throughout Benin.
It is currently estimated that AIDS has orphaned more than 5,000 children in Benin.
These children are being catered for by the Caritas organisation "Sedekon" based in Abomey, some 185 km north of Cotonou.
The teaching hospital's paediatric unit has launched a programme aimed at reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission among children aged between 0 and five years.
In March this year, Benin signed an agreement with the International Therapeutic Solidarity Fund to improve access to antiretrovirals.

20 june 2001 22:14:00

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