Zambia scales up HIV/AIDS prevention programmes

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- The Zambian government said it would target over 3 milli on people, in particular pregnant women and HIV-exposed children, under the prog r amme to be administered from the 15 million Canadian dollars grant committed to t he scaling up of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) s e rvices in nine African countries with high prevalence rates.
Minister of Health Kapembwa Simbao also said an estimated 8,036 child infections would be prevented at about US$320 per infection within two years of the duration of the grant.
According to official estimates, the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS among pregnant women in antenatal settings was 16 percent, representing 32.
3 percent in urban areas and six percent in rural areas.
About 130,000 children below the age of 15 were also infected, according to Simb ao.
The Health Minister disclosed this at the start of a regional meeting for mid-te rm review of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and World Health Organisation (WHO) grant for scaling up of the PMTCT in Lusaka.
The meeting is being attended by delegates from the Democratic Republic of Congo , Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Lesotho, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
With an estimated 500,000 deliveries ever year, it is estimated that about 82,00 0 women living with HIV give birth annually in Zambia, Simbao said in a speech read on his behalf by deputy Health Minister Mwendoi Akakandelwa.
WHO country representative Olusegun Babaniyi said globally, over 90 percent of e very 1,200 children who got infected with HIV daily acquired it through mother-to-child transmission.

22 april 2009 11:37:00

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