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ACCELERATING CHILD SURVIVAL AND DEVELOPMENT 2009

Uganda’s Battle Against the Top Childhood Threats


.© UNICEF Uganda/Chulho Hyun
PREVENTING MOTHER
TO CHILD TRANSMISSION
OF HIV
SITUATION SUMMARY
According to the recent 2007 Uganda Child Verbal
Autopsy Study carried out by the Uganda Bureau of
Statistics, HIV/AIDS accounts for close to 6% of deaths
for children under-five. Approximately 110,000 children
are living with HIV, of which 50,000 are in immediate
need of life-saving treatment. Tragically, however, only
10,000 (<20%) of these children are receiving treat-
ment, which is less than 10% of all the people on Anti- A UNICEF-supported Voluntary Counseling and Testing Site in
Retroviral Therapy (ART). northern Uganda.

Paediatric AIDS is a result of failure of the Preventing


Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme as UNICEF’S CATALYTIC RESPONSE
95% of children with HIV acquire the virus from their UNICEF works at both the national level, and in 23
mothers. However, having a healthy baby is possible. districts to remove bottlenecks in systems and
Developed countries have reduced HIV transmission structures, enhancing the Government of Uganda’s
from mothers to children to less than 2% - yet in capacity to deliver essential services in pursuit of
Uganda, transmission rates remain between 25-30%. MDG6 (to arrest and reverse the spread of HIV) Our
To arrest transmission, pregnant mothers should be “catalytic” support aims to ensure that:
tested during their ante-natal care (ANC) visits, and be • Children represent at least 15% of all patients bene-
given ARVs, if positive for the virus. According to ac- fiting HIV care and treatment programmes (through
cording to the UDHS 2006, approximately 94% of advocacy and leveraging of resources from HIV
women made at least one ANC visit, showing the enor- partners/donors in Uganda);
mous potential of this intervention to reach women with • Children and mothers access early diagnosis and
life-saving information and care. referral by scaling up availability of PMTCT services
to 80% of all ANC clinics (through technical assis-
However, at the end of 2008, the PMTCT intervention tance and support to Districts/Ministry of Health);
was available in only 66% of all health facilities provid-
• 80% of expectant mother are tested for HIV and
ing ANC in UNICEF-supported districts (up from 43%
70% access ARVs (by ensuring districts have ade-
in 2007). Positively, 70% of women were tested for HIV
quate stocks of drugs and supplies for the ANC/
in ANC in 2008, up from 48% in 2007. However, only
PMTCT intervention through supply, cash and tech-
55% of HIV+ pregnant women received ARVs to re-
nical assistance);
duce MTCT in 2008 (up from 29% in 2007). In the ab-
sence of the PMTCT intervention close to 30,000 chil- • Medical Workers and focal-points have adequate
dren are infected with HIV per year. qualifications, training and authority to implement
the full ANC and PMTCT package;
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE • Community members are aware of HIV-related risks
There are regional variations in coverage levels but all and the services available for treatment, leading to
have increased over the last year. For example, only an increase in utilisation of services (through social
3% of HIV+ pregnant women in Karamoja received mobilization activities).
ARVs for PMTCT in 2007 but in 2008 this rose to 41%.
UNICEF CHILDREN AND AIDS PROGRAMME
INDICATIVE BUDGET FOR 2009
Performance by Region on PMTCT - 2008
A NC sites with P M TCT Budgetary Requirements: 6 million USD
Expected pregnant wo men tested HIV at A NC
HIV+ wo men given A RVs fo r P M TCT
• 5 million USD for interventions in 23 focus districts;
100
• 1 million USD to expand advocacy, leveraging and
80 90
83
partnerships at the national level.
81
60
61 64
59
40
57
49 51
56
50 FOR MORE INFORMATION
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20 Dr. Dirk Stefan Buyse Karen Allen
0 Chief, Children and AIDS Deputy Representative
Acholi Lango Karamoja West dbuyse@unicef.org kallen@unicef.org