7pc pregnant women suffer due to religion

HARARE - At least seven percent of pregnant women in Zimbabwe are still failing to access antenatal care due to religion and culture, putting their babies at risk of contracting HIV.

According to the Health ministry, the mothers are not only prohibited by religion and culture, but by economic circumstances as well.

“And certainly there are about seven percent of pregnant women who do not book for antenatal at all and therefore miss the opportunity for delivering HIV-free children.

“These include women of certain cultures and certain religions and some who are limited from accessing care because of the distance to the facilities and some because of cost,” deputy Health minister Aldrin Musiiwa said in Parliament last week.

He said this might hinder the country’s efforts to end paediatric Aids by 2020.

Musiiwa said of those who had accessed ANC, 98 percent of those who would have tested positive are initiated on antiretroviral treatment(ART).

“However, relative to all established HIV-positive pregnant women in need of ART including some who may not have come for the ANC, the country population coverage for ARVs for prevention from mother to child transmission drops to 85 percent,” he said.

Under the antenatal programme, pregnant women receive group education sessions about the advantages of knowing their HIV status and also get information on how they will receive antiretroviral treatment for life.

Musiiwa said in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission programme, acceptance for HIV testing is very high, with 99 percent of pregnant women presenting for antenatal clinic accepting to test.

Comments (1)

there must be no room for women to suffer because they are pregnant in this day & age! despite the deplorable state of zim health facilities, men must take full responsibility & due care of their pregnant wives! despite the need to be holier that thou, 'religious' men must ensure that their beliefs bring comfort that asuage the ills that befall pregnant women! what manner of religion is that which put albatrosses on pregnant women? what other time would men want to be the pillars of thy wives except in the times of labour pains?! as Christ loved the Church so shall men love their wives for the relationship between a husband & a wife is a great mystery because it symbolises the relationship between Christ & the Church! gentlemen, you are the ordained ones of Yahweh to the Priesthood of your households and the welfare of the wives & their offspring is a responsibility that is absolved only by death! bob marley once said, ''the greatest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her'' pregnancy is the manifestation of love shared and non should expose one to suffering after conception! the world is full of pple because it was gifted with women; but if every birth comes with such suffering ,considering how many we are on the face of the land, then the world is cursed and unworthy of its own very existance. i call upon all men to be men of substance both in fact & in appearence!

SaManyika Chaiye - 15 June 2016

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