Ghana AIDS Ambassadors to Reduce Mother to Child Transmission

The Heart–to-Heart (H2H) Ambassadors of the Ghana AIDS Commission have kick-started the “H2H ANC Caravan”, a campaign aimed at reaching pregnant women with information on HIV treatment services.

     The Ambassadors would conduct visits to antenatal and antiretroviral sites in fourteen health facilities in the Greater Accra Region, during which they would encourage Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT), couple testing and counselling.
     A statement issued by the Ghana Aids Commission said the tour which is in line with the global and national call for the virtual elimination of mother to child HIV transmission will be officially launched at the La General Hospital on Wednesday April 15.
     The Commission said the primary mode of transmission of HIV to children and infants is from mother to child during pregnancy, labour and delivery, or during breastfeeding.
     For this reason, the ANC and ART site tour will offer the H2H Ambassadors the opportunity to dispel misconceptions that impede antenatal attendance and HIV treatment. 
     The tour started at the Ridge Hospital in Accra when the H2H team led by Rev. John Azumah, visited the Antenatal Care Unit of the Hospital and counselled expectant mothers on the need to know their HIV status and be put on treatment to stop transmission of HIV to their babies.
     The statement said Reverend Azumah on his part encouraged the pregnant women not to be apprehensive when asked to check their HIV status but see it as a means of safeguarding the health of both mother and baby.
     The H2H Ambassadors also urged the pregnant women on antiretroviral treatment (ART) to take their drugs as prescribed by health practitioners.
     The ambassador said with the use of antiretroviral drugs, an HIV positive mother’s chances of transferring the virus to her baby, reduces to lower than five percent as opposed to the about 40 per cent chance if the woman is not on treatment.
     At the Antiretroviral unit, persons living with HIV who had come for treatment were also enlightened on how to live healthy lifestyles and stick to the directives of health professionals.
     The Heart-to-Heart Ambassadors are four persons living with HIV who have dedicated their lives to sharing their life stories to encourage a more tolerant attitude towards persons living with HIV who face stigma and discrimination daily.