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ZIMBABWE: Up to 60,000 children born with HIV/AIDS every year

Between 40,000 and 60,000 children were born HIV positive in Zimbabwe every year, a senior health official told PlusNews on Monday.

Dr Inam Chitsike, project officer of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, told PlusNews that the country’s MTCT intervention programme was gradually being introduced in districts countrywide. Pilot sites were already operational and the next step was to make the programme more accessible to expectant mothers, Chitsike said.

Chitsike added that the programmes did not focus solely on prevention, but also included care and support through counselling and other services. She said that the government was in negotiations with Nevirapine manufacturers, Boehringer-Ingelheim, to provide the country with the drug.

Nevirapine can reduce the risk of MTCT significantly. The government expects the drug to be launched in the country before the end of the year.

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

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