The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called for more efforts to fight against HIV transmission from mother to children in Western and Central Africa here on Wednesday.
About 23 percent of the pregnant women carrying HIV virus received necessary treatment in 2009 to prevent vertical transmission, a significant progress from four percent in 2005, according to data of the United Nations (UN).
However, the UNICEF pointed out there were still too many women and children who were excluded from the aiding system of Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) and many countries in Western and Central Africa did not receive sufficient attention and help.
“Reducing the number of new infections among children by 90 percent and the number of AIDS-related maternal deaths by 50 percent by 2015 is now within reach,” but “a national priority for the countries concerned” is imperative, the UNICEF said in a statement at an international conference.
The UN agency estimated that the risk of transmission could be reduced to less than five percent if necessary treatment was available to women and their children. Attention should be focused on the Western and Central Africa because the two regions account for 25 percent in the total number of pregnant women and children infected with HIV.
“Protecting babies against the virus is a matter of political will and priority in the allocation of resources of the concerned states and donor states,” said President of UNICEF France Jacques Hintzy.