Uganda’s First Lady takes action against the spread of HIV

Museveni called out for increased efforts to stop mother-to-child HIV transmission

Mother and ChildJanet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda, believes that prevention of mother-to-child (MTC) HIV transmission is a pre-requisite for the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.  During the launch of a MTC prevention program Adolf Mwesige, a local government minister, read Museveni’s comments concerning the prevention of MTC.  

In Museveni’s message, she said that one of strengths of the PMCT program is that up to 90 percent of women come in contact with a health care provider at least once during pregnancy.

According to New Vision, over 110,000 children live with HIV in Uganda and 90 percent of those children contracted the virus from their mothers.  Dr. Richard Nduhura, state minister of health, believes that the numbers remain high because adult women are not teaching the importance of virginity to girls.

The prevention initiative is a five-year project worth $3 million, according to the PMTC chief, Dr. Elioda Tumwesgiye.  It will be funded by the U.S. and will cater to over 7,000 HIV-positive pregnant women in the districts of Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Ibanda, Isingiro and Kiruhura.

Health network, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, also covered this story.  

Uganda made other news in the health world recently.  A study concerning whether or not all men should be circumcised was conducted with 10,000 men, including men from Uganda.  Two years ago the World Health Organization and UNAIDS (United Nation’s HIV program) stated that circumcision should be a part of HIV prevention programs.  

The study of these 10,000 African men showed that circumcision could reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by approximately 60 percent.  This discovery could potentially save three million lives in Africa alone over the next few decades.

To read more about the study and what it means for America, check out MSNBC’s article.

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~ by margeincharge on April 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “Uganda’s First Lady takes action against the spread of HIV”

  1. I used to be in world challenge, and one of the largest problems we continually read about and discussed in the Africa group was the spreading of HIV from a mother to a child. It really is a tragic thing, and often fairly hard to prevent, hopefully by education and word of mouth it will decrease in the coming years.

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