Expectant mothers shun VCT services in Ndola
Ndola, July 11, 2013, ZANIS – Hosanna Mapalo project Manager Patrick Mntanga says his organization is facing a challenge of effectively carrying out Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programmes as expectant mothers in communities where it operates often refuse to be tested for HIV/AIDS.
And Copperbelt Provincial Medical Officer Dr. Chandwe Ng’ambi said Millennium Development Goals can only be attained by 2015 when people are healthy in the country.
Mr. Mntanga said the organisation was facing a challenge of expectant mothers refusing to be tested for HIV because of traditional beliefs and low male involvement in such programmes.
ZANIS reports that the Hosanna Mapalo project Manager said this during a consultative meeting held at Savoy hotel in Ndola today whose topical discussion was “creating community demand for PMTCT and Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) project for Ndola and Luanshya districts.
“Women in communities where we operate refuse to be tested for HIV to help prevent the unborn child from being infected because their husbands are not involved and at times its due to traditional beliefs that they are not suppose to go for antenatal services when pregnant,” Mr. Mntanga said.
He said in some cases women would test for HIV but their husbands are not involved because they do not feel the need for them to go through the process of being tested for HIV/AIDS.
He said Hosanna Mapalo has partnered with Positive Action for Children’s Fund/Charities Aids Foundation UK to implement the project of PMTCT and EID in ten communities of Ndola and Luanshya by 2015.
Mr. Mntanga added that the project was aimed at enhancing promotion of PMTCT, strengthening referrals of EID by engaging with communities to help reduce defaulter rate of PMTCT clients due to lack of access and availability of PMTCT services within reach.
And speaking at the same function, Copperbelt Provincial Medical Officer Dr. Chandwe Ng’ambi said Millennium Development Goals can only be attained by 2015 when people are healthy in the country.
“Expectant mothers’ refusal to undergo HIV test is due to practices that undermine women’s abilities to discuss and make informed decisions on their reproductive rights to enable them seek PMTCT services and EID for improved quality of life,” Dr Ng’ambi said.
He said his office would like to see a reduction in defaulter rate and communities accruing the benefits of PMTCT and EID in the province.