National Conference Highlights Progress and Challenges to Eliminating New HIV Infections in Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
       
Contact: Caroline Zinyemba
EGPAF Zimbabwe, +263 772 572-475
czinyemba@pedaids.org

Statement from Dr. Agnes Mahomva, Country Director for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) in Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe – “This week’s national conference – ‘Eliminate New HIV Infections in Children, Keep Mothers Alive’ – is an important forum to highlight Zimbabwe’s commitment to eliminating pediatric AIDS.

Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV has been one of the most successful and cost-effective HIV prevention strategies to date. In making effective PMTCT services available to women and children who need them, we are able to protect the health of mothers and dramatically reduce the number of new HIV infections in children, saving lives and avoiding the need and cost of lifelong care and antiretroviral treatment.

By prioritizing children, women, and families in its national program and leading efforts for universal access to PMTCT services, the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, in collaboration with the national PMTCT Partnership Forum, has taken an important step toward creating a generation born free of HIV.

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation looks forward to continuing our work and collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe to realize this ambitious, but achievable, goal.”

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About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) started supporting the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in 2001 to scale up services for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and to provide women, children, and their families with access to quality HIV/AIDS services. By the end of June 2011, the Foundation was supporting 1,079 PMTCT sites out of 1,560 sites in the country, and had reached more than 900,000 women with PMTCT services in antenatal clinics (ANC).

EGPAF is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, and has reached more than 12.2 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently works at more than 5,500 sites in 17 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities in order to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide.