Personal Stories/News

 “Ethiopia:  Strengthening Systems and Services to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV”

USAID’s family planning efforts are paying off for the Ethiopian community.  Part of their program is education on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS.  Abyot, a young woman in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, used the services to learn of ways to prevent her baby from becoming infected with HIV.  She first used PMTCT services during her initial prenatal care visit to Addis Ketema Health Center.  At that point, she was tested for HIV and found that she was HIV positive.  The program will help her adjust to her diagnosis and minimize the chances of passing the virus to her child during delivery and infancy. 

The PMTCT program is available in 23 facilities around Ethiopia.  It is through the Hareg Project (the United States Government’s Presidential Initiative to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Ethiopia.  They work in collaboration with the CDC, the United States Agency for International Development, the Ministry of Health, Ethiopia’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Control Office, UNICEF, and other partners.  Hareg has worked to strengthen the health system through workshops and other resources. 

Women in Ethiopia face great challenges in attaining appropriate prenatal care.   Nearly 2/3 of mothers currently have no access to prenatal care services.  Hareg is working to not only provide more access to prenatal care, but develop strengthened health systems and programs to address the needs of Ethiopian mothers, especially in relation to HIV testing and control.  Another large barrier for women is stigma in the community outside the health center.  Through the development of the Community Action for Behavioral Change (CABC) initiative, Hareg hopes to alleviate the stigma. 

Through these efforts, many mothers and their future babies’ lives are being changed as they now have access to the knowledge and resources to prevent the transmission of HIV to their infants.

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Responses

  1. This is great! I am not trying to be over zealous in my appreciation of your post but rather of the program itself. What better way to bless the life of a mother than knowing that her child can be healthy and live a longer more productive life. I have often wondered how the parents of HIV Positive children might feel. I am glad that there is a way out for future generations. Why to go PMTCT and CABC!


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