Kenya to Offer Free Drug to Combat Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
May 28, 2002
Kenya is about to become one of the few African countries offering HIV-positive pregnant women free nevirapine to prevent transmission of the virus to their unborn children, a health ministry spokesperson said Friday. Public Health Minister Sam Ongeri said that US-based Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals will donate 1 million doses of nevirapine worth about $436,000 to Kenya over the next five years. The government estimates that between 30 and 40 percent of babies born to infected mothers become HIV-positive. Of Kenya's 30 million people, an estimated 2.2 million are infected with the virus. In April, the South African government said it would begin a national nevirapine program by the end of this year. Four months earlier, President Thabo Mbeki's government lost a high court case, filed by AIDS activists and pediatricians, to force the government to make the drug available.Adapted from:
05.24.02; Tom Maliti
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.