Global Health Current Affairs - 2019
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Cuba has become the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. It was announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Cuba was able to achieve this milestone with the help and efforts of WHO and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).
Since 2010, WHO/PAHO are working with partners in Cuba and other American countries to implement a regional initiative to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
As part of the initiative, Cuba had intensively worked to ensure early access to prenatal care, HIV and syphilis testing for pregnant women and their partner as well as their babies.
Services under this initiative were provided as part of an equitable, accessible and universal health system. It included services like maternal and child health programs and integrated programs for HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
Global challenge of mother-to-child HIV transmission
It is estimated that around 1.4 million women infected HIV every year globally. The chances of mother-to-child transmission of virus to their children during pregnancy are 15-45% if they are untreated.
The risk of transmission of virus in the new born can reduced with the medication of antiretroviral medicines.