Over 300 Children born to HIV positive mothers test negative after close...

Over 300 Children born to HIV positive mothers test negative after close clinic observation

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A woman breastfeeds a baby. More than three hundred children born to HIV positive mothers tested negative in Kilifi after being put under clinic observation. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Kilifi, KENYA: More than three hundred  children born to  HIV positive mothers in Kilifi have tested negative, this is after being put under medication and observation for two years.

Statistics show that a total of 1,320 women have been registered in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMCT) program but the estimated number of mothers required to be in the program is 1700.

Gladys Etemesi, Kilifi County PMCT Coordinator told Baraka FM on Teusday that a lot is still being done in helping women who are victims of HIV/AIDS and are pregnant in the entire County especially in the villages.

“In Kilifi County we have already registered 1,320 pregnant mothers who are infected with HIV/AIDS but still we have not attained our target of 1700 women,” said Etemesi.

Asked about the challenges that would contribute to them not attaining their target, Etemesi said traditions have hindered women to come out for HIV tests.

“In the villages, tradition is still a hindrance to many pregnant women to come out to hospitals for tests and clinics, currently we are working around the clock to ensure we get these women to be registered in the program through Maendeleo ya Wanawake organizations, County Aids Coordinators and Beyond Zero campaign to lure them to us,” Etemesi added.

Yasmin Ali, a mother of one of the children who tested negative, said it has not easy for her as she has faced a lot of  discrimination from the community.

“I realized that I am HIV positive when I visited the clinic during my second pregnancy, I had no otherwise but to accept the situation and follow the Doctor’s instructions, and I am now proud and happy to have my baby girl safe,” said a smiling  Yasmin.

Meanwhile, Kilifi County CEC in charge of Health services Racheal Musyoki, said the department has come up with a kitty to support the HIV infected mothers who are in the program.

“It’s too early for me to disclose much about the kitty right now but soon it will commence in a bid to empower our mothers economically,” said Musyoki.

“We have also not stopped sensitizing our people in general to come forth for tests to know their status and we have seen it’s working well,” she added.