South Africa focuses on HIV-positive mothers

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- Following the decision by national government on the prevention of mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission, the Gauteng provincial government has launched two pilot sites.
The Natalspruit/JC Dumane site started implementation in May and the Kalafong/Pretoria West site, the following month.
Other sites approved by the province have also started preparation for implementation.
A site on the West Rand will start implementation at the end of this month.
The total number of women seen at these four sites is 1,371, of whom 798 (approximately 58 percent) have been tested, and 107 have been issued with Nevirapine for use once labour commences.
So far, 37 babies have been born at these four sites with Nevirapine prophylactics.
Intervention in the pilot centres consists in voluntary testing of pregnant women for HIV, and confirmatory testing of those found positive in the initial test.
It also includes the administration of a single dose of Nevirapine to the mother at the time of delivery, the avoidance of midwifery practices that might facilitate transmission of HIV, and the administration of Nevirapine syrup to the baby between 48 and 72 hours after birth.
The mother is counselled on the choice of feeding and the babies are followed up for 18 months with three HIV tests and general health care as required, and the mother is advised to use contraception.
There is a need for counselling, education and support throughout the entire 18 to 24 months, with emphasis on certain critical times.

18 july 2001 12:25:00

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