RESEARCH ARTICLE

Knowledge and Awareness of MTCT and PMTCT Post-Natal Follow-up Services Among HIV Infected Mothers in the Mankweng Region, South Africa

The Open AIDS Journal 30 June 2017 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874613601711010036

Abstract

Background:

The pandemic of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the most severe health challenge affecting children across the world. It is estimated that more than 90% of all HIV infections in children result from Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT). Poor knowledge and awareness of MTCT and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) among HIV positive mothers and their babies is a major setback to the success of the PMTCT programmes.

Methods:

A qualitative approach and a cross-sectional design were applied in this study. The sample size of the study was 26 participants. Purposive sampling was used to select HIV infected mothers enrolled for PMTCT follow-up services and health care providers responsible for the implementation of the PMTCT programmes. In-depth interviews were conducted with fifteen HIV infected mothers at two health facilities. Two Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with eleven health workers at the two health facilities. Focus groups comprised of six participants from Mankweng Clinic and five participants from Mankweng Gateway Clinic.

Results:

The findings from the study reveal that the majority of the respondents were aware of MTCT, but lacked knowledge and understanding about how a mother can transmit HIV to her child during pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding. The majority of the participants did not understand the risk of MTCT after birth and failed to mention breastfeeding as a mode of transmission. However, most of the participants were aware that MTCT can be prevented. The respondents were aware of the importance of treatment adherence as a prevention measure to avoid MTCT.

Conclusion:

Based on these findings, a number of recommendations were made. The first is that educational and awareness programmes need to be developed or strengthened on health risks. Mass campaign media should provide information on the importance of PMTCT activities through the use of community radio stations, Television, newsletters, bill boards etc. People need to know more about PMTCT activities, health personnel need continuous training to provide clear information on PMTCT activities.

Keywords: Awareness, Follow-up, Knowledge, Mother-to-Child Transmission, PMTCT.
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