Implications for Factors Affecting Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Programs in University Teaching Hospitals in Anambra State

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.05.01.Art010

Authors : Michael Olugbamila Dada, Ogbodo UchechukwuChibuzo


Background: Vertical Mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a cause for alarm in the course of new HIV infections in newborns in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poor utilization of PMTCT services accounts for the high HIV burden recorded in Anambra State of Nigeria. Aiming pregnant women attending antenatal clinics provide a unique opportunity for implementing prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs against HIV infection of newborn babies.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate obstacles and implications associated with the poor access and utilization of PMTCT services in selected teaching hospitals in Anambra State.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was employed using interviews with 128 adult pregnant HIV-infected women attending antenatal care clinics of two teaching hospitals in Anambra State of Nigeria. Trained data collectors administered structured questionnaires to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge about HIV and PMTCT, satisfaction with service care providers and obstacles to utilization of PMTCT services.

Results: 99% of the study participants knew that HIV was a deadly virus transmitted through sex and other blood contact routes. 76% of the participants knew that HIV could be transmitted from mother to child and about 53% of them actually knew the major ways of MTCT of HIV. 41% of the participants did not know how HIV could be passed from mother to child. 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 the state.

Conclusion: In order to overcome the obstacles highlighted in this study, strong political and economic commitments need to be incorporated in PMTCT service provider delivery. HIV counselling and testing among ANC attendees and creating knowledge/awareness about MTCT of HIV ought to be a priority. Further research should be conducted qualitatively to augment the quantitative data.

Keywords: Human immunodeficiency virus, Prevention of mother to child transmission HIV counselling and testing, Antenatal Care


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