Eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
In 2011, global health leaders set a goal to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV during pregnancy and help HIV-positive mothers stay alive and healthy after giving birth to their children. The overall strategy for the initiative was for 22 target countries to strengthen efforts to ensure universal access to services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). The global plan for achieving eMTCT outlines ambitious targets to guide national planning:
- Reduce the number of new HIV infections among children by 90%
- Reduce the number of AIDS-related maternal deaths by 50%
- Reduce HIV incidence in women of reproductive age by 50%
- Reduce unmet needs for family planning among all women
In response to the global initiative, Tanzania launched its eMTCT plan (2012-2015) in December of 2012. First, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) adopted the Life-Long ART for Pregnant and Lactating Women approach (known as LLAPLa or Option B+) as its national standard, wherein HIV-positive pregnant and lactating mothers are initiated on ART for life, regardless of CD4 count. Additionally, the MOHSW identified a need to raise awareness around eMTCT in general and LLAPLa in particular, from national to grassroots level.
In support of Tanzania’s efforts to achieve eMTCT, the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP) provided communication technical assistance to the MOHSW and implementing partners by producing communication materials for the regional rollout of LLAPLa. These materials were designed to increase awareness of and support for eMTCT, and increase demand for PMTCT services.