Inadequate ARV provision to mothers, infants irks Kaseba

Maureen Mwanawasa, Health minister Dr Joseph Kasonde, First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba and Dr Kaunda during the stakeholders’ Conference -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA.jpg
FIRST Lady Christine Kaseba is saddened that while Government has done well in availing antiretroviral drugs to women during pregnancy, five out of every 10 women or their infants are not receiving ARVs during breastfeeding to prevent mother to child transmission.

Dr Kaseba said it is now estimated that half of all new cases of HIV transmission to children occur during the breastfeeding period when most lactating mothers are not receiving prophylaxis necessary to prevent HIV transmission.
She was speaking when she officiated at a stakeholders’ conference on Save the born child: Accelerating options B-plus interventions in Zambia.
“This is an issue we need to consider and I hope this meeting will be able to offer solutions as to how we can overcome this and many other anticipated challenges in accelerating option B-plus,” Dr Kaseba said.
The First Lady called on the stakeholders to come up with innovations for virtual elimination of HIV from mother to child.
She also challenged them to adopt a holistic approach in dealing with the mother to child avenue of HIV transmission.
“Implementing the B-plus intervention is not all about taking pills. While we are aware of the many benefits of option B-plus and the expected impact it will have on eliminating child transmission, we need to identify factors, that if not effectively dealt with around B-plus interventions, would make it impossible for us to go beyond the current success,” Dr Kaseba said.
The First Lady also said there is need to identify programmatic, operational and clinical challenges and their solutions to facilitate going up to scale with implementing these interventions.
And first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda said the fight towards