The Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program is concerned with eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV. This is achieved through:
- prevention of HIV among women of child bearing age
- prevention of unintended pregnancy among HIV infected women
- prevention of transmission of the virus through early diagnosis and provision of ARVs for those infected
- linkage of the HIV infected woman and her family for care, support and treatment services
PMTCT works by providing prevention, treatment, care and support interventions to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers attending antenatal clinics at Nigerian Ministry of Defence (NMOD) health facilities serving barrack communities and surrounding civilian populations.
PMTCT Patient Testimony
Mrs. Ruth is an indigene of Kaduna State. She is 43 years old and a proud mother of three healthy children. She was first diagnosed with HIV in 2005.
She never came to terms with the reality of her HIV status until receiving antenatal care for her third pregnancy when she was confirmed positive at a private hospital/laboratory. Ruth took the news in her stride and went in search of a friend at the Mogadishu Barracks, who eventually brought her to the HIV clinic in the Defence Headquarters Medical Centre, Abuja. She registered with the clinic and was directed to the PMTCT section due to her pregnant status.
During that ordeal, Ruth remained because she had accepted her status and saw HIV as any other disease. As she says, “whether HIV or not, a person will eventually die.” Ruth is particularly glad because none of her children have HIV. Though she suspects contracting HIV from her husband, she held no grudge against him because she loved him and they both continued living together. She is especially thankful to the PMTCT clinic where she obtained vital knowledge during her third pregnancy which helped her live a healthier lifestyle and protect her unborn child from HIV.
Today, Ruth not only works as a volunteer in the same clinic but is a “PMTCT mentor-mother.” She counsels HIV mothers using herself as a testimony. Ruth is one example of all the mothers who have benefitted from PMTCT. The mothers who at first come to the clinic, ignorant, confused and somewhat lost, become active participants and go as far as volunteering their services to the clinic. Many as a last resort attended the PMTCT clinic but left much different. They become confident, resourceful and determined to take on the world.