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First workshop on mother-to-child HIV transmission held in Turkmenistan

Workshops for healthcare professionals on HIV transmission to be rolled out across the country

Ashgabat, 6 February 2008 – The first ever workshop for health professionals dedicated to tackling the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission(PMTCT) of HIV has been held in Turkmenistan.

UNICEF supported the Ministry of Health and the Medical Industry of Turkmenistan to organise a  ‘train-the-trainers’ workshop on PMTCT, and then supported these new trainers as they led the first workshop on this issue in the country for paediatricians, gynaecologists, and other health specialists.

Important initiative
UNICEF Turkmenistan Representative, Waheed Hassan, said: "UNICEF is very pleased that the Government of Turkmenistan is taking this important initiative to upgrade the knowledge of medical staff in the prevention of PMTCT. Although this is not a major issue for Turkmenistan at this time, the country will be well prepared to deal with any eventuality". The main objective of these three-day workshops is to improve the skills of health specialists working on prevention of HIV/AIDS and to make the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV an aspect prenatal care. The newly-established PMTCT trainers will work with colleagues in health centres, maternity houses and AIDS centres across the country.   

Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS
The workshops concentrated on aspects of antenatal care, antiretroviral therapy, safe delivery practices and infant-feeding. Other important topics covered included a woman’s right to information on protecting herself and her child from HIV, the role of health professionals in counselling and the need to eliminate discrimination against HIV-positive women.     

Prevention of mother-to-child transmission is one of the four focus areas of the campaign “Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS” launched by UNICEF and UNAIDS in 2005 to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide. The campaign stresses that the national AIDS policies should prioritise prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and that the governments should promote this. Governments are also urged to integrate prevention of mother-to-child transmission into maternal and infant health care as well as linking it to other services such as drug treatment and counselling.   

For more information please contact: Ayadil Saparbekov,UNICEF Health and Nutrition Officer,,  Gulyalek Soltanova, UNICEF Communication Officer, +99312 425681/82/86/86,



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