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Glob Public Health. 2008;3(1):62-76. doi: 10.1080/17441690601111924.

Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in a refugee camp setting in Tanzania.

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  • 1Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), Refugee Assistance Programme, Ngara, Tanzania. <>


The objective of this article is to describe the results of a 2-year pilot programme implementing prevention of mother to child HIV transmission (PMTCT) in a refugee camp setting. Interventions used were: community sensitization, trainings of healthcare workers, voluntary counselling and HIV testing (VCT), infant feeding, counselling, and administration of Nevirapine. Main outcome measures include: HIV testing acceptance rates, percentage of women receiving post test counselling, Nevirapine uptake, and HIV prevalence among pregnant women and their infants. Ninety-two percent of women (n=9,346) attending antenatal clinics accepted VCT. All women who were tested for HIV received their results and posttest counselling. The HIV prevalence rate among the population was 3.2%. The overall Nevirapine uptake in the camp was 97%. Over a third of women were repatriated before receiving Nevirapine. Only 14% of male counterparts accepted VCT. Due to repatriation, parent's refusal, and deaths, HIV results were available for only 15% of infants born to HIV-infected mothers. The PMTCT programme was successfully integrated into existing antenatal care services and was acceptable to the majority of pregnant women. The major challenges encountered during the implementation of this programme were repatriation of refugees before administration of Nevirapine, which made it difficult to measure the impact of the PMTCT programme.

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