Berhampur, Dec 1 (LocalWire) At least 57 babies born since 2018 to HIV-infected women in Ganjam district were found safe and negative to the virus, thanks to the measures taken by the local administration in association with National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
Authorities launched a special programme a few years ago in the district, considered to be one of the vulnerable places in the country, that aims to prevent the perinatal transmission of HIV from an HIV infected pregnant mother to her newborn baby.
Under this programme, all pregnant women are being screened and those found to be positive are being referred to the Integrated Counselling and Testing Center (ICTC) for confirmation.
Once confirmed, required medicines are administrated to reduce the risk of transmission, said Hemant Das of AIDS Control adding the percentage of transmission had since drastically reduced as a result.
The district is home to 16,011 HIV positive persons including 887 pregnant wom As many as 25 ICTCs are operating in the district.
The decline in the number of infected babies indicates that HIV-care programme in the district indicate that the programme has helped to prevent mother to child transmission of the virus, chief district medical officer Bijay Chandra Panigrahy said.
While five of the 58 babies born to HIV moms in 2014 were found positive, it was four out of 67 in 2016 and only one out of 49 babies in 2017.