Promote Male Involvement in Antenatal Care and PPTCT – Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Study
Port Moresby, 7 December, 2012: Male involvement and participation in antenatal and sexual reproductive health (SRH) services can contribute to improved use of Antenatal Care (ANC) and Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) services by pregnant women.
According to key findings in a recent study conducted in PNG investigating community knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) relating to male involvement in antenatal care and PPTCT services, most expectant fathers do not attend antenatal clinics with their pregnant partners and men’s use of SRH services is quite low.
The KAP study, carried out by the Burnet Institute in partnership with the Catholic HIV/AIDS Services Inc (CHASI) under the leadership of the Department of Health with support from UNICEF, highlights evidence that while men agree it is important for women to attend ANC and PPTCT services, many factors contribute to preventing men from being involved while women participants in the survey highlighted that having a supporting husband promotes ANC attendance and freedom to access PPTCT services.
“UNICEF is assisting the government of PNG to scale up programmes to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Treating HIV-positive pregnant women is essential to preserve their own health, to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies, and to prevent sexual transmission of HIV to their partners. We also support efforts to integrate better HIV services with other antenatal care platforms including routine child and maternal health programmes.” said Baba Danbappa, UNICEF Representative in PNG.
The 2011 Global HIV progress report states that few women and children in Papua New Guinea receive HIV treatment: only 12 per cent of HIV infected pregnant women receive PPTCT services. Although 62 per cent of adults and children in need of antiretroviral therapy have been started on treatment, only 24 per cent of eligible children have been reached
Papua New Guinea, together with 52 other countries has signed off on the promise of commitment towards child Survival in a recent campaign entitled, “Committing to Child Survival: A Promised Renewed”. Working to end new HIV infection among children by 2015 and keeping mothers alive is a key element of UNICEF’s commitment to child survival under this global movement.
The KAP study confirms a few interesting issues:
• Pregnant women are more likely to come to ANC if they have supportive husbands or if it is the first pregnancy
Among others, the following are key recommendations from this study:
• Sexual health information for males should give focus on their role in protecting their family.