The Minister of Health, Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo has strongly criticised HIV-positive women who continue to conceive children. The Minister said producing weakens their health and in the process the women end up infecting the unborn.
Ntawukuriryayo was last Friday speaking in Karongi district where he met district health mobilisers at Gatwaro Stadium. His remarks however, followed a visit to Rurengera Health Centre where he learnt from the medical officials, that the practice of HIV-infected women producing was common at the centre.
"We need to help HIV-infected women to produce healthy children and for them to have good health, but it’s a big mistake to continue producing when one has contracted the virus. It should stop. When one has contracted the virus we still emphasise preventive measures," he said.
Dr. Ntawukuriryayo explained that even the mechanisms to ensure that HIV-infected women produce healthy babies are not 100 percent perfect.
The visit was part of a countrywide tour to assess the health situation in the country, during which he meets health counsellors. While at Rurengera Health Centre, the minister was appalled by six-year child who has been stunted purportedly due to poor feeding. The child who had gone to seek medication could easily be mistaken for three years. The minister urged parents to adopt family planning mechanisms to avoid big families.
He urged the health personnel to always advise residents on preventing diseases.
The minister further urged health personnel to advise residents on proper feeding, improved sanitation and hard work to improve their living conditions.
He underlined the importance of health mobilisers in ensuring good health among residents. Earlier on Thursday, the minister visited Kirinda Hospital.