(Last Updated on November 19, 2020 by GERALD NCUBE)
ZIMBABWE – About 6 000 new HIV infections in children under the age of 14 have been recorded in Zimbabwe in 2019, with 29 percent of the minors unable to access anti-retroviral treatment.
The national Co-ordinator for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Angela Mushavi, said the country recorded 5 919 new HIV infections amongst the under-14 age group last year.
Speaking at a National Aids Council (NAC) media workshop in Macheke Wednesday, Dr Mushavi said the new infections were caused by mothers who are not getting anti-retroviral treatment as well as mothers who book late for antenatal care.
“The huge number of cases is being caused by a number of factors such as mothers who at the early stage of pregnancy test negative but with time during pregnancy or breastfeeding test positive and are not aware,” she said.
“There are also mothers who book for antenatal care at the late stages of the pregnancy and those that do not take anti-retroviral medication contribute to this number.”
Explaining the high number of children who are not on ARVs, Dr Mushavi said: “One of the reasons is that formulation of children’s medication is not readily available compared to adults’ medication. This has led to low confidence by health workers and parents on the dosage they should give to their children”.