Community perceptions, attitudes and knowledge regarding mother to child transmission of HIV: a baseline evaluation before the implementation of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Program using a short course of Nevirapine at Onandjokwe Hospital, Namibia
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Each year approximately 600 000 infants, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa are born with HIV infection as a result of mother to child transmission of HIV. Whereas significant progress has been made in reduction of mother to child transmission of HIV in developed countries, the situation remains desperate in developing countries. Progress has been hampered by shortage of staff, facilities, limited access to voluntary counselling and testing and lack of support for women by their partners and communities. The challenge is to increase voluntary counselling and testing uptake during antenatal care. Onandjokwe district in Northern Namibia is currently introducing the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Program (PMTCT). It has been found the previous PMTCT programs have failed because they adopted a top down approach where there was no community consultation. This study was conducted to explore the community perceptions, knowledge and attitudes regarding mother to child transmission of HIV through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews of key community members.