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