Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

International News
Uganda: Unfriendly Nurses and Culture Hinder Male Involvement in HIV Prevention

September 7, 2010

Uganda has been a pioneer in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, with programs dating back to 2000. Though PMTCT is now available at the county level across most of the country, gaps remain. Statistics from the Health Ministry show that while almost all women attending antenatal clinics agree to HIV testing and counseling, just two-thirds return for their results. Of those who test HIV-positive, only 17 percent deliver their babies at the hospitals.

Uganda currently has more than 110,000 HIV-positive children and continues to log around 25,000 new infections annually. Most infected children acquire HIV at birth, said Dr. Zainab Akol, head of HIV/AIDS programs at the Health Ministry.

Advertisement

Health experts say Ugandan men play a key role in reproductive health decisions. Yet male participation in PMTCT in Uganda hovers at just 5 percent, according to Robina Kaitrimba of the non-governmental National Coordinator of Uganda National Health Users/Consumers Organization. Failure to reach the sexual partners of HIV-positive women remains the biggest barrier to PMTCT, she said.

Research by Dr. Robert Byamugisha shows men feel antenatal clinics are not male-user friendly and midwives are impolite. In some instances, Byamugisha said, midwives "did not allow men to enter with their pregnant wives to the clinic."

Titus Namanda, who lives in Bunghokho village in Mbale district, vowed never to return to the antenatal clinic. "They made me wait for three hours and I witnessed them abusing my wife and other women," he said. "I decided not to go back."

Other men give financial reasons for not attending. Mutwalibu Wambete, a father of two, pays $5 a day to rent a motorcycle that he operates as a taxi. "So if I spend time at the clinic then we shall go hungry and the children will not go to school," he said.

Back to other news for September 2010

Excerpted from:
Inter Press Service
08.26.2010; Wambi Michael




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. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:
http://www.thebody.com/content/art58340.html

General Disclaimer: TheBody.com is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through TheBody.com should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.