11 Mar 2014 12:20pm
NEW YORK, 09 MAR (NAMPA) A member of the Harvard School of Public Healths Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases has commended Namibia for leading in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS.
According to 2013 World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, Namibia stands at 84 per cent in PMTCT, meaning 84 per cent of babies were born HIV-negative between 2009/2010.
Chairman of the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Max Essex was speaking at the Harvard University of Public Health lecture over the weekend in Boston, United States of America.
The lecture was attended among others by Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob and a Namibian business delegation who are in that country on a business visit.
Essex also commended Botswana for leading in PMTCT with 93 per cent in 2011, which saved the lives of 11 000 babies who could have been HIV-positive.
He said the two countries are a success story in the southern African region, and are on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal 4 in preventing the HIV/AIDS transmission to babies.
That Millennium Development Goal aims at 95 per cent PMTCT in 2015.
In 2009, an estimated 860 000 pregnant women were found to be living with HIV in eastern and southern Africa, more than in any other region of the world.
The region is also home to 47 per cent of the global total of children living with HIV, of which over 90 per cent were infected through vertical transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.
The Harvard University School of Public Health Dean said HIV and other infectious diseases remain much of the institutions agenda in terms of research.
Currently, the institution is busy with research towards finding a cure for infectious diseases to rid the world of diseases, especially in developing countries, where HIV/AIDS and cancer are still a problem.