Men urged to support PMTCT services

KIGALI - The Senior Prevention Advisor at United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS), Karusa Kiragu, has urged men to get involved in the elimination of Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) of HIV/AIDS.She made the call yesterday during the sub-regional consultative meeting to discuss ways of promoting male involvement in the elimination of MTCT and keeping their mothers alive.
(L-R) Health Minister, Dr Binagwaho, Karusa Kiragu of UNAIDS, Dr Anita Asiimwe of RBC and Dr  Boureima Hama Sambo of WHO at the meeting in Kigali, yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira
(L-R) Health Minister, Dr Binagwaho, Karusa Kiragu of UNAIDS, Dr Anita Asiimwe of RBC and Dr Boureima Hama Sambo of WHO at the meeting in Kigali, yesterday. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira

KIGALI - The Senior Prevention Advisor at United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS), Karusa Kiragu, has urged men to get involved in the elimination of Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) of HIV/AIDS.

She made the call yesterday during the sub-regional consultative meeting to discuss ways of promoting male involvement in the elimination of MTCT and keeping their mothers alive.

“Men’s participation in the eradication of MTCT services is very important because it accelerates progress in the elimination process,” she said.

Kiragu said that mothers who are on the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) program would adhere to treatment if their husbands are fully
involved.

The two-day meeting that brought together about 50 participants from Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, aims at discussing successful policies and programs on
strengthening male involvement.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, said that men’s participation in PMTCT services in the country is over 80 percent, which is a remarkable
progress.

“We are very proud of Rwandan men who accompany their pregnant wives to test for HIV/AIDS, this plays a great role in the elimination of paediatric
HIV/AIDS,” she asserted.

The Minister noted that the involvement of the top leadership, for instance, the First Lady, Jeanette Kagame, who spearheads the campaign to raise awareness
on PMTCT services, has significantly contributed.

“We have over 80 percent of health facilities in the country providing PMTCT services in a comprehensive manner,” she added.

Binagwaho reiterated that Rwanda is committed to the reducing MTCT of HIV to two percent by 2015.

The World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr. Boureima Hama Sambo, observed that strengthening male involvement would also reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.

“The consultation forum on the involvement of males in PMTCT comes at a time to strengthen global leader’s commitments to the elimination of MTCT by 2015 and
the reduction of maternal to under-five mortality,” he explained.

Dr Sambo hailed the government of Rwanda for being at the forefront in male involvement in PMTCT services.

He added that the UN pledges full support to the government to accelerate male participation in the eradication of MTCT of HIV and to improve maternal, child
health and sexual reproductive health.

Ends

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