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Provincial Newspapers Telegraph

Triple elimination of transmission


By Fortunate Gunde

TRIPLE elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B virus diseases, are the main targets.

The elimination aims at giving every child the best chance to start a healthy life from preventable communicable diseases.

Addressing the gathering at the workshop held by National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe (NAC) recently at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) Hotel, Programmes Officer for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT), Brian Komtenza, said the Triple plan for PMTCT was launched in Victoria Falls last year just before the World AIDS Day.

“So, transmission can occur during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Our goal is to achieve what is known as the gold tier, in the World Health Organisation (WHO) plan for elimination. There is a path to elimination and as a country we zeroed in on achieving the gold tier, which has specific targets.

“Someone who is HIV negative can be taking Anti Retro Viral (ARV) for the prevention of acquiring HIV. For us to have those medicines we need to strengthen those systems that are the procurement, supply chains ,delivery right up to the clients as long as they have the legs for testing, monitoring the CD4 count and the viral load. We will need that,” explained Komtenza.

“The sixth strategic direction area, which I have enlarged and boldened speaks to engaging empowered communities, protecting rights, promoting gender equity and addressing stigma and discrimination and in all these six strategic direction areas, we all have roles to play. We all have a role to play, when we look at the sixth strategic direction area.

“You have a role to play, how do we achieve the status of having an empowered community or people who know their rights, if we are going to be engaging communities? It would be better to engage communities when we are empowered. When our communities do not have the correct information to start with, it affects the whole chain of decision-making,” said Komtenza.

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