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Sub-Saharan Africa recording high cases of children with HIV

Written by  Capital FM Reporter Sep 21, 2015

States in the sub-Saharan Africa region record 260,000 cases of children infected with HIV each year, this according to Alere.

The international non-state actor adds that maternal Syphilis infections are main cause of stillbirth, neonatal death, prematurity, low birth weight and congenital syphilis, stressing that the impact of maternal syphilis can be prevented by testing early in pregnancy,

The Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs for Alere says rapid HIV screening and diagnostics help in reducing mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS and reduce child mortality in the continent of Africa.

Luis Gonzalez believes duo rapid testing kits are an efficient and economic diagnostic tool that allows HIV pregnant women to be screened for both HIV and Syphilis simultaneously and deliver actionable results to clinicians at the point of care enabling them to treat patients promptly the remotest parts of the world.

“Both HIV and Syphilis can be transmitted during pregnancy to the fetus additionally, Syphilis infection during pregnancy increases the risk of mother to child HIV transmission by 80%,” says Gonzalez.

Alere specializes in rapid HIV screening, with its innovative diagnostic products revolutionizing HIV chronic disease management at the point of care from screening to monitoring and co-morbidities.

Meanwhile, the health organization has donated HIV/Syphilis Duo rapid diagnostic tools to the Malawi Government so as to reduce mother to child transmission of HIV and Syphilis.

The first lady received the donation on behalf of Malawians in Lilongwe on September 19.

“The donation will help in the pressure that was on the limited equipments at the country’s hospitals and also easing screening of pregnant women and help in early diagnosis of infants in HIV and Syphilis,” said Getrude Mutharika, “It is an important part of ensuring that no baby is born with HIV and mothers and children do not die unnecessarily.”

In the absence of the Diagnostic tools pregnant women wait for six months before accessing results of the fetus’s HIV status and Syphilis transmission results thereby ending up in late appropriate care for the mother and baby.

Mutharika stressed that funding to health services and HIV is declining hence her commitment to mobilize domestic and external resources to the national HIV response.

She revealed of her plan to use every opportunity to mobilize resources for the cause of promoting access to HIV diagnosis and treatment for children and mothers.

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