PMTCT program annual report 2012
The Government of Swaziland has given high priority to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and according to the latest data, significant progress has been made in delivering PMTCT services in Swaziland. In 2010, Swaziland committed to the elimination of new infections in children and keeping their mothers alive through comprehensive scale up of PMTCT. Scientific and program evidence points out that PMTCT interventions, including primary prevention, reducing unintended pregnancy, antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis and care and treatment for mothers living with HIV and newborns exposed to HIV, can reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child to less than 5% in countries where mothers predominantly breastfeed and to as low as 2% in non-breastfeeding counties. Although there has been a dramatic increase in commitment, resource mobilization and programming, especially around ARV prophylaxis, significant efforts are still required to realize the MTCT elimination goal of above 95% reduction of mother-to-child transmission by 2015. This will only be achieved if Swaziland continues to accelerate its commitment to making available comprehensive and effective PMTCT programs.
Analysis of the cascade of PMTCT services shows both advancements made as well as the biggest hurdles faced in implementation. Furthermore, such analysis helps to anticipate and to plan for improved future achievements and outcomes. The country started to implement PMTCT services within maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services in 2003. Swaziland has witnessed a dramatic scale up of PMTCT in the country. The PMTCT program and its supporting partners have implemented many actions to scale up PMTCT interventions and focus areas during 2012, including:
Expanded targeted mentoring on PMTCT at health facilities
Improved coordination at national, regional, and facility level
Strengthened and expanded PMTCT service provision to community level
Implementation of innovative program interventions for the involvement of male partners, significant family members and communities to create a supportive environment for PMTCT
Strengthened tracing and follow up of antenatal care clients and HIV exposed infants
Data reported in calendar year 2012 have been used to develop this report. In line with the National Multisectoral Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS 2009-2014 (NSF), this report provides information on the progress towards targets and objectives of the PMTCT Program for 2012. The report portrays the country’s progress on key PMTCT indicators as highlighted in the NSF.
Some of the key results for 2012 include:
An increase in overall HIV testing rates: By the end of 2012, 89% of pregnant women were tested for HIV.
A decrease in HIV prevalence among pregnant women (37%).
A dramatic decrease of sero-conversion among PMTCT clients: Over the past two years, seroconversion rates have declined from 10% in 2010 to 2.8% in 2012. Enhanced efforts have been made during this period to educate and retest pregnant women during antenatal care and labor and delivery.
The proportion of all HIV positive pregnant women who receive ARV prophylaxis has markedly increased, reaching 86% in 2012.
Slight improvement in CD4 testing during pregnancy: The CD4 uptake among pregnant women has increased from 66% in 2011 to 68% in 2012.