August 14, 2008
In many places in sub-Saharan Africa, mothers do not have access to prenatal care. As a result, many are not tested for HIV/AIDS. Since those who are HIV-positive don’t know their status, they aren’t given treatment and this makes it more likely that they will pass on the virus to their child. Without access to treatment, transmission of the virus to the baby occurs in up to 40 percent of cases.
MSF provides Prevention-of-Mother-to-Child-Transmission (PMTCT) treatment in many of its projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The story that follows is about MSF providing PMTCT treatment in Zimbabwe.
“MSF is now treating close to 40,000 HIV-positive people in Zimbabwe, over 7,000 of whom are children. It is estimated that there are about 2 million HIV-infected people in the country.”
“Part of the problem in Bulawayo’s clinics is that there are hardly any staff. With Zimbabwe’s economic situation, nursing staff earn a maximum of $10 US a month. Many of them have left or are now leaving. The staff is shrinking, and the patients are growing.”
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)