HIV/AIDS and Children




Feature Stories


Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Paediatric Care

© UNICEF/MLIA2010/Asselin
A newborn baby is held by her mother at the Regional Reference Centre in Kita. Early testing is available to women who chose to know their HIV status. Medicine and counselling is available to lessen the chance of mother-to-child transmission.

In an effort to focus on early diagnosis and prevention, the prevention-of-mother-to-child transmission programme (PMTCT) started in 2001 at Gabriel Touré Hospital with the Malian Initiative for Access to Antiretrovirals (IMAARV).

In 2002, UNICEF and the Regional Health Directorate in Bamako integrated Nevirapine monotherapy into PMTCT protocols. This pilot project, initially conducted only in Bamako, was extended to other regions in 2004. The programme was then taken to scale after a change of protocol from Nevirapine monotherapy to use of Nevirapine and AZT combination therapy July 2005.  Simultaneously, some sites , such as Gabriel Touré Hospital in the capital, and some community health reference centres were already using the tritherapy protocols.  All PMTCT sites were expected to use tritherapy by 2007, however, as of late 2010 this objective is not yet achieved.

In 2007, the AIDS Control Sector Unit made paediatric care a key priority by developing a plan to extend paediatric care services and signing an agreement with the Clinton Foundation to provide fixed-dose paediatric ARV combinations. As of beginning 2008, there were 17 paediatric care sites in Mali, compared to just 10 at the end of 2006. Also as of 2008, early diagnosis sites were scaled up from Bamako to sites in four regional capitals.




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