CMMB Takes Lead in Africa With Programs to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV-AIDS

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Catholic Medical Mission Board

    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB),
 the non-profit organization that provides healthcare assistance to developing
 nations, has launched four pilot programs in Africa for the prevention of
 mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-AIDS.  CMMB will provide nevirapine
 as part of its MTCT programs in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, and South Africa.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010430/NYM096 )
     According to John F. Galbraith, Executive Director of CMMB, each program
 will include free HIV testing for prenatal women, as well as counseling on
 HIV-AIDS and the risk of transmission from mother to child.  HIV-positive
 women who participate will receive one dose of the anti-retroviral drug
 nevirapine during delivery, and one dose of nevirapine for their children to
 be administered within 72 hours of birth.  HIV-positive mothers will also
 receive long-term courses of antibiotics for assistance with the prevention of
 opportunistic diseases, thus curbing mortality rates.
     The U.S. Public Health Service and World Health Organization (WHO) have
 concluded that nevirapine given to HIV-positive women during labor and a
 single dose of nevirapine given to children within 72 hours of birth reduce
 the risk of transmitting HIV from mothers to infants in up to 50% of cases.
 Ann Doherty, CMMB's Director of Programming, said, "With studies showing that
 34% of babies born HIV-positive will die before their first birthday,
 60% before the age of three, and 75% before the age of five, CMMB's programs
 are not just critical, but imperative."
     Increasing the programs' efficacy, CMMB has integrated the MTCT programs
 with its already established healthcare programs in northern Ghana, the site
 of CMMB's Program for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis; in southern
 Zambia, site of CMMB-sponsored TB-DOTS program; outside Nairobi, Kenya, host
 to CMMB medical volunteers and CMMB healthcare training programs; and in
 South Africa, one of the five southern African countries benefiting from
 CMMB's $5 million community-based HIV-AIDS initiative.
     AIDS has caused the deaths of more than three million children worldwide;
 more than one million children are currently infected with the HIV virus.
 According to statistics from UNAIDS and UNICEF:
 
      -- Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the overwhelming source of HIV
         infection in youngsters.
 
      -- 90% of infants and children with HIV have become infected through
         MTCT.
 
      -- Although Africa accounts for 10% of the world's population, 90% of all
         HIV-infected people live there.
 
      -- Of the 5 million infants born with HIV since the beginning of the
         pandemic, 90% were born in Africa.
 
     Founded in 1928, CMMB delivers urgently needed assistance to partner
 agencies and healthcare facilities worldwide.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X31744521
 
 

SOURCE Catholic Medical Mission Board
    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB),
 the non-profit organization that provides healthcare assistance to developing
 nations, has launched four pilot programs in Africa for the prevention of
 mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-AIDS.  CMMB will provide nevirapine
 as part of its MTCT programs in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, and South Africa.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010430/NYM096 )
     According to John F. Galbraith, Executive Director of CMMB, each program
 will include free HIV testing for prenatal women, as well as counseling on
 HIV-AIDS and the risk of transmission from mother to child.  HIV-positive
 women who participate will receive one dose of the anti-retroviral drug
 nevirapine during delivery, and one dose of nevirapine for their children to
 be administered within 72 hours of birth.  HIV-positive mothers will also
 receive long-term courses of antibiotics for assistance with the prevention of
 opportunistic diseases, thus curbing mortality rates.
     The U.S. Public Health Service and World Health Organization (WHO) have
 concluded that nevirapine given to HIV-positive women during labor and a
 single dose of nevirapine given to children within 72 hours of birth reduce
 the risk of transmitting HIV from mothers to infants in up to 50% of cases.
 Ann Doherty, CMMB's Director of Programming, said, "With studies showing that
 34% of babies born HIV-positive will die before their first birthday,
 60% before the age of three, and 75% before the age of five, CMMB's programs
 are not just critical, but imperative."
     Increasing the programs' efficacy, CMMB has integrated the MTCT programs
 with its already established healthcare programs in northern Ghana, the site
 of CMMB's Program for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis; in southern
 Zambia, site of CMMB-sponsored TB-DOTS program; outside Nairobi, Kenya, host
 to CMMB medical volunteers and CMMB healthcare training programs; and in
 South Africa, one of the five southern African countries benefiting from
 CMMB's $5 million community-based HIV-AIDS initiative.
     AIDS has caused the deaths of more than three million children worldwide;
 more than one million children are currently infected with the HIV virus.
 According to statistics from UNAIDS and UNICEF:
 
      -- Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the overwhelming source of HIV
         infection in youngsters.
 
      -- 90% of infants and children with HIV have become infected through
         MTCT.
 
      -- Although Africa accounts for 10% of the world's population, 90% of all
         HIV-infected people live there.
 
      -- Of the 5 million infants born with HIV since the beginning of the
         pandemic, 90% were born in Africa.
 
     Founded in 1928, CMMB delivers urgently needed assistance to partner
 agencies and healthcare facilities worldwide.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X31744521
 
 SOURCE  Catholic Medical Mission Board