GWERU — Gokwe South and North have the highest number of men involved in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) in the Midlands province, a National Aids Council official said yesterday.
Report by Stephen Chadenga
NAC provincial monitoring and evaluation officer Josiah Machakata told stakeholders in Gweru that men in the two districts were showing the way.
“We have increased male involvement in PMTCT as end of December last year in Gokwe South and North, with recordings of 2 500 and 2 300 men respectively,” he said.
“This is quite a high figure compared to other areas in the province with male involvement of even less than 500.”
He attributed the impressive figures to the involvement of chiefs in the area.
“In Gokwe North, chiefs have been roped in to actively participate in issues surrounding HIV and Aids and in particular the PMTCT programme,” Machakata said.
“We have chiefs such as Chirembo and Chireya who have come up with operation ‘perekedza mudiwa wako’ (accompany your partner) and this has worked well.”
He also noted that in Gokwe South, those who accompanied their partners to health centres were served first as a way of encouraging men to be part of the life-saving programme.
Health experts say male involvement in PMTCT programmes is essential for reducing the risk of HIV infections, especially for unborn children.