2,433 pregnant women were tested HIV positive in the Eastern region, the AIDS control programme has stated.
The Eastern Regional HIV Coordinator of the National AIDS Control Programme, Dr Emmanuel Amoah, has called for a change in the methodology in the implementation of the country’s HIV response strategy.
He explained that figures available indicate that the situation where health personnel wait at health institutions expecting people to walk in to test for their HIV status and those that test positive to seek treatment is not helping the country to achieve the desired results.
Dr Amoah, therefore, called for community-based approach to the implementation of the country’s HIV response strategy for pregnant women who test HIV positive to be provided services in their communities.
Dr Amoah was briefing members of the Eastern Regional AIDS Committee on the HIV service data and activities planned for the year at Koforidua.
He said out of 2,433 pregnant women who tested HIV positive in the region last year, only 450 delivered at health institutions in the region and only nine babies were monitored and offered treatment for up to 18 months after delivery to determine their HIV status.
They remaining 441 children could not be traced because either the telephone numbers or other information given by their mothers were false and so could not be traced or they left the region all together.
He explained that it is difficult to get adults to change their sexual behaviours to help control the HIV infection rate than to have an HIV-free generation if pregnant women who are diagnosed as HIV positive could be traced and given drugs until delivery and after delivery.
He said in 2014, 2,433 pregnant women tested positive in the region as against 1,633 in 2013.
Dr Amoah said in 2014, 1,516 women and 532 men who tested HIV positive were put on the antiretroviral treatment (ART).
He said this year, the region would focus on areas with high HIV prevalence to help reduce the rate of infection.
The regional HIV coordinator said efforts would also be made by the region to intensify the community-based approach and implementing agencies given targets to achieve by following pregnant women who test positive to ensure that they receive treatment.
Source: Daily Guide