Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda
Title: Achieving zero mother to child transmission of HIV through community based approaches using mother to mother supporters: Reach out experience
Sharon Nakanwagi has mastered in organizational leadership and management. She completed her bachelor's from Makerere University in Gender Studies and Philosophy and has a certificate in community development from the University of South Africa. She has led various HIV projects and grants in World vision of $500,000 budget for the past 10 years. Currently, she is pursuing a health leadership course with Makerere School of Public Health and attached to Reach Out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative where she has conducted various studies on HIV and AIDS. She is also taking lead in monitoring the key populations' project.
Reach Out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative (ROM) integrated eMTCT program in its holistic model of Care in 2004 to reduce pediatric HIV transmission. The Mother-to-Mother (M2M) approach was adopted in September 2006 to improve community uptake and acceptance of eMTCT through strengthening adherence and prompt referrals. A retrospective study was done by reviewing trends of enrollment, antenatal attendance and HIV status of children born to positive mothers. Annual reports from 2004 to 2012 were reviewed and comparison was done across years. There was a steady increase in enrollment from 111 in 2006 to 159 in 2012. The average rate of women in care who conceived was 7.6 between 2006 and 2009 then dropped to 5.3 between 2010 and 2012. Hospital deliveries increased from 40% to 97%. HIV transmission rate reduced from 7% in 2006 to 0% in 2012. Constant follow up of expectant mothers on ART improves ANC attendance, increases hospital delivery that results in reducing mother to child HIV transmission. M2M community based approach helps to strengthen the PMTCT strategies, ANC attendance and health facility based births.