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By Eric Omwombo 

The latest report from Ngima for Sure, an organisation that deals with prevention of mother-to-child transmission has shown a significant reduction in the rates of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS from 8.3 percent in 2018 to 4.3 in 2023..

According to technical advisor on PMTC at Ngima for Sure organisation Sam Odhiambo, Siaya County has made significant strides in the reduction of PMTCT rates.

 In 2018, the transmission rate was at 8.3 percent. In 2021 it reduced to 7.1 per cent while in 2022 it further reduced to 7 percent which has come down to 4.3 percent in 2023.

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“Siaya is still below the target but demonstrates optimism in the HIV awareness response. This positive trajectory underscores the crucial role of collective efforts and determination in addressing the challenges posed by HIV,” said Odhiambo, adding “We just want to maintain the gains and we are looking forward to have a better elimination rate below 4.3 percent.” 

Speaking in Siaya town Odhiambo said they had embraced key strategies amongst them longitudinal follow up of HIV positive, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers

“We optimized the ARV regimen and provided treatment in relation to viral load monitoring and followed up some of the victims who were not taking treatment very seriously. Those with high viral load, will have their cases summarised, discussed and treatment changed.

“We have counselors, mentors and expert mothers who are supporting the peer-to-peer awareness creation aspect.

Additionally, we have been collaborating with other players that help in the management of high risk or complicated cases in the community. Our mandate as a program is resolved at the facility but we incorporate support from our community partners including Globecom so as to give desired support at the community level.”

Ngima for Sure looks at the livelihoods of the breastfeeding mothers, offers food tokens and other fundamental aid.

For adolescent girls who are pregnant or breastfeeding, the program provides a special package, with targeted and specific trainings. 

“We are screening high-risk mothers whom we subsequently offer HIV pre-exposure profilaxis, this is a treatment which when taken with proper adherence will prevent primary infection to the mothers.

For the babies, we offer infant profilaxis as required by the National guidelines. All HIV exposed infants are enrolled for a two-year follow up till we have a final outcome.

It’s our desire that all HIV exposed infants are transitioned out when HIV negative while their mothers come out with a suppressed viral load”, said Odhiambo.

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