oa SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance - Mother-to-child transmission of HIV and its prevention : awareness and knowledge in Uganda and Tanzania : original article
Awareness and knowledge about HIV mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) and preventive measures in different population groups and health personnel were analysed in future intervention areas in western Uganda and southwestern Tanzania. In Uganda, a total of 751 persons (440 clients of antenatal and outpatient clinics, 43 health workers, 239 villagers, 29 traditional birth attendants) and in Tanzania, 574 persons (410 clients, 49 health workers, 93 villagers, 18 traditional birth attendants) were interviewed.When given options, knowledge on transmission during pregnancy and delivery in women was 93% and 67% in Uganda and Tanzania respectively, and 86% and 78% for transmission during breastfeeding. In Uganda 59% of male interviewees did not believe that HIV is transmitted during breastfeeding. Expressed acceptance of HIV testing was above 90% in men and women in both countries, but only 10% of the clients in Uganda and 14% in Tanzania had been tested for HIV infection. Health workers' knowledge regarding MTCT was acceptable, while traditional birth attendants' knowledge on both MTCT and preventive measures was extremely poor. Recommendations on infant feeding were not compatible with WHO recommendations for HIV-infected women. If prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) interventions are to be accepted by the population and promoted by health personnel, thorough orientation and training are mandatory.
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