The transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies is still a big challenge in the country and this, calls for concerted efforts to avert the trend.
In 2010 the ministry of health revealed that Mother To Child Transmission (MTCT) accounts for 18% of HIV transmissions in Uganda, which could be reduced if more men are brought on board.
In research conducted in June 2014 in Kabarole district by the Makerere University School of Public Health, it was found that only 30% of men are involved in the Prevention of mother to child transmissions (PMCTC) programme which is below the national target of 50%.
During the dissemination of the study results on Wednesday, at St Josephs’ In, Fort Portal, Lydia Nakiire, the lead researcher, revealed that in Kabarole PMTCT programs focus mainly on women, but now is the time to examine men’s engagement.
The study was conducted in June to August 2014 where 226 expectant mothers attending Antenatal Clinic in four health facilities of Kataraka in East division , Kagote in West division, Fort Portal regional Referral hospital, and Kabarole Hospital.
Male involvement in Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT) in form of HIV counseling and testing is one of the strategies for reducing chances of pediatric HIV transmission but has not been fully implemented.
Nakiire recommended the district should plan and budget for sensitization campaigns to increase awareness about EMTCT activities and the importance of male involvement.
PLATFORM for the NEEDY Director Mr.Ainganiza Steven disclosed that they have embarked on a campaign to sensitize the public especially in the rural areas to embrace the campaign of men accompanying their wives for antenatal care services and encouraging couples testing together for HIV.
He said they are using BAHEMUKA drama outreaches educating the people on Elimination of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV. He noted that the organization has already shot a video on EMTC that will be used in sensitizing the people.