Background: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection in newborns is one of the leading causes of
infant mortality globally and accounted for about 1.8million childhood deaths
in 2010. Despite international interventions aimed at reducing pediatric
infections at antenatal clinic entry points, however, there is still limited
access and utilization of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services
resulting in low target coverage due to obstacles existing at facility,
community and state levels. Anambra State still records a low patronage of
PMTCT interventions by pregnant mothers.
Objective: This study was carried out to determine the
factors affecting prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV
programs in university teaching hospitals in Anambra state, Nigeria
Methods: This is a
descriptive cross-sectional study involving 128 randomly selected HIV positive pregnant
women attending antenatal care clinics and service providers of two purposively
selected teaching hospitals in Anambra state, Nigeria. Qualitative data were
obtained through focus group discussions and key in-depth informant interviews.
Data analysis was carried out using NVivo version 9 qualitative data analysis
Results: The findings
of this work show that ninety-nine percent (99%) of the study participants knew
that HIV was a deadly virus transmitted through sex and other blood contact routes.
Seventy six percent (76%) of the participants knew that HIV could be
transmitted from mother to child, while about 53% of them knew the major ways
of MTCT of HIV. The participants that did not know how HIV could be passed from
mother to child were 41%. Others factors are lack of awareness and knowledge
about HCT, late presentation at ANC clinics, low numbers of PMTCT centers
within locality of respondents, poor involvement of male partners/spouses and
stigma were the main reasons cited for poor utilization of PMTCT programs in
Conclusion: The study
highlights a referral linkage of traditional birth attendants to health
facilities for PMTCT interventions in the state to have profound impact on the
health of the mother, child and nation at large.
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