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ETHIOPIA: Mothers urged to join in parent-to-child HIV prevention

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

ADDIS ABABA, 25 May (PLUSNEWS) - The Ethiopian health ministry is urging mothers to join the fight to reduce the number of children born with the HI virus, estimating that just six percent of women have their babies in a health facility.

According to government statistics, HIV transmission from mothers to newborn infants accounted for approximately 253,000 new infections in Ethiopia in 2005, while only 27 percent of pregnant women in Ethiopia visit a health centre.

At a ceremony recognising the efforts of 105 mothers and 24 male partners in disseminating HIV/AIDS information in the capital, Addis Ababa, health workers stressed the importance of raising awareness of safe practices during the antenatal, delivery and postnatal phases.

IntraHealth International, a partner of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) working in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, has organised the "Mothers2Mothers" community support groups to create awareness of the antenatal care and HIV prevention services available to pregnant women.

"The numbers of mothers and family members who have benefited from these activities is impressive," said Janet Wilgus, deputy Chief of the US Mission to Ethiopia. "It is so important to focus on women and their families. Through this programme, there has been a remarkable increase in access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services, through the advice and counsel of other mothers in their communities."



Recent ETHIOPIA Reports
Funeral associations - for the living as well as the dead,  21/Nov/06
Eritrean refugees desperate for HIV services,  2/Nov/06
Poverty forcing girls into risky sex work,  18/Oct/06
Confidential hotline getting people talking,  12/Oct/06
WFP scheme sustaining thousands affected by HIV,  7/Sep/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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