AT least 1 429 pregnant women tested HIV-positive out of a sample of 23 014 tested for the virus in the last quarter of 2016, a Midlands provincial health report has revealed.
BY Stephen Chadenga
The report reveals that 90% of pregnant women were tested for HIV in the province during the period.
“Pregnant women booking for first antenatal care (ANC) was at 60%, while 90% of women booking for ANC were tested for HIV,” noted the report.
“Out of eight districts in the province, Kwekwe recorded the highest number of pregnant women who tested positive for HIV at 289 out of 3 712 women tested in the district. Chirumanzu had the lowest at 76 out of 1 1 24 women tested.”
Positivity rate was, however, highest in Zvishavane at 8% and lowest in Gokwe North at 2,5%.”
The province, however, managed to surpass the target of newly-born babies within two months of their birth improving the quality of care rendered to HIV-exposed infants.
The Health and Child Care ministry has been on a drive to encourage pregnant women to register early and get tested for HIV to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of the virus.
Zimbabwe has made strides in the past years in reducing the transmission from mother to unborn child from 30% in 2006 to the present 6,7%.
PMTCT services are offered at all the 1 643 health care facilities across the country’s 62 districts.