The Ministry of Health has revealed that 80,000 children in Cameroon are living with HIV / AIDS. The statistics were made public recently in Yaounde, as the nation prepares its first national forum on the prevention of mother to child transmission and HIV care in children and adolescents in partnership with UNICEF.
For three days, the health experts are aiming to design strategies to lift the bottlenecks that hinder the progress in combating the spread of the HIV virus to children. There are approximately 612,445 people infected with HIV and despite the rapid increase in access to treatment in adults, access to antiretroviral treatment for children remains very low, with only 6% of eligible children, according to a 2013 report.
The representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Félicité Tchibindat, opined that the prevention of mother to child transmission remains a crucial challenge. She was quoted as saying that “A quarter of women with HIV transmit the virus to their children.”
The top UN official also noted that access to treatment, especially for children, still remains a major problem. In 2014, only 11% of children under 15 were placed under treatment, against about 23% of adults,” she added.
By Rita Akana