In 2012, 6 percent of expectant mothers in Uganda were estimated to be living with HIV (Ministry of Health, 2012). This translated to 88,000 pregnant women whose babies were at risk of acquiring HIV.
Uganda’s strategy of eliminating mother to child transmission is emphasising the initiation of Option B+ for HIV infected pregnant women irrespective of their CD4 count. This approach involves reducing the risk of HIV transmission from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, labour, delivery and breastfeeding to less than 5% nationally.
In support of the above, Chalker Foundation for Africa have awarded Nurture Africa http://www.nurtureafrica.ie/#!our-projects/cqjh a grant to work with Traditional Birth Attendance (TBA) in four districts of Uganda: Wakiso, Arua, Hoima andMubende.
The targeted districts each have a population of over 500,000 people, have MARPS, including fishing villages, army barracks and sex worker stops. Hoima for instance is strategically located within the oil exploration Albertine region of Uganda and the region is recording high numbers of sex workers which will accelerate the spread of HIV/AIDS if prevention and treatment programs are not initiated and intensified.
Objectives of the project
(i) To build the capacity of 200 TBAs, 200 Village Health Team Workers (VHTs) and 100 government health officials in the provision of PMTCT services to HIV infected pregnant women by 2015
(ii) To develop a robust referral and follow up system with VHTs, TBAs, health facilities and CSOs in each targeted district to link HIV infected pregnant mothers to PMTCT service providers by 2015
Nurture Africa will be working with District health officials to incorporate role of TBAs in national health strategy especially in relations to referrals.
“Although it is very rare for a child to be born with HIV in the developed world, there are still a thousand new-borns a day infected in Africa.” UNICEF