Focus on mom-to-child transfers

United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) South Africa is on track to meet a UN target for reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) by 2010, Unicef has said.

United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) South Africa is on track to meet a UN target for reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) by 2010, Unicef has said.

"South Africa is one of 17 low- and middle-income countries that are set to achieve the target of reducing mother-to-child infections by 50 percent," read a 2007 report by Unicef on PMTCT, paediatric HIV care and treatment in low- and middle-income countries.

In South Africa, the PMTCT programme had been expanded to cover 90 percent of public health facilities.

More than 32000 children with HIV had started antiretroviral therapy by September 2007.

The report would be presented in Johannesburg on Monday at a two-day Global Partners Forum on PMTCT organised jointly by Unicef, the World Health Organisation and 18 other partner organisations.

Department of Health spokesman Sibani Mngadi said representatives of four regions affected by HIV-Aids - Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Latin America - were expected to attend.

Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland were the only other African countries on the list that included countries such as Brazil, Russia and Thailand, read the report.

Unicef reported that by December 2006, 127000 children were receiving antiretrovirals worldwide.

"We want to offer a comprehensive package of care and treatment to those who are infected and affected," Mngadi said.

"The health of women and children is our priority." - Sapa

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