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International News

Burundi: Disease Transmission -- Program Teaches Health Workers About Preventing Mother-to-Child HIV Infection

April 29, 2004

The prevention of mother-to-child (MTC) HIV transmission was the topic of a recent five-day training program in Bujumbura, Burundi, organized under the African Synergy (AS) initiative of the African first ladies on HIV/AIDS. Seventy-three medical doctors, nurses and social workers were trained on the various aspects of preventing MTC HIV infection, including administration of antiretroviral drugs, counseling, opportunistic disease treatment and nutrition.

Launching the local AS chapter in March, Burundian first lady Aude Ndayizeye said HIV/AIDS rates in the country could worsen with the increasing number of rape victims. Ndayizeye also expressed concern about high HIV infection rates of children caused by MTC transmission, noting that 480 babies were born with HIV annually. In Burundi, 193 of 1,266 women tested in a 2003 survey conducted by the Center for Training and Research in Infectious Diseases were found to be HIV-positive.

AS Executive Secretary Jean Stephane Biatcha said that MTC HIV infections were significant contributors to the African HIV/AIDS pandemic and compromised future generations there. "The situation of women and children in Africa has reached a critical stage to become an alarming concern," said Biatcha at the opening of the program. "Two thirds of HIV positive people in the world are women and 800,000 children are infected by their mothers every year."

While prevention centers have opened in Bujumbura, Kayanza, Bururi, Bubanza and Gitega, they must be strengthened in both capacities and equipment, said Jean Paul Nyarushatsi, coordinator of the training.

Back to other news for April 29, 2004

Adapted from:
Women's Health Weekly

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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.
See Also
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10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
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