Osun govt extends free antenatal care to pregnant women

Pregnant women in Osun State are now free of the financial burden as government hospitals extends free medical services to them all.

The Supervisor for the Ministry of Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, said this over the weekend in an interaction with journalists.

Isamotu was speaking on government effort at towards ensuring HIV-positive pregnant women do not transmit the virus to the unborn children.

He said state hospitals were being properly equipped to give adequate and comprehensive antenatal care to any pregnant women who visit them, and that HIV test remains compulsory for them to be sure of their status.

“In Osun State, the proportion of pregnant women who received HIV counselling during antenatal care has increased from four per cent (40) in 2013 to nine per cent (57) in 2015 while the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Services coverage increased from 14 per cent in 2014 to 36 per cent in 2015.

“The Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) rate in this state reduced from 16 per cent to 13 per cent during this period.

“However, in order to achieve elimination of MTCT, at least 90 per cent of pregnant women should receive HIV counselling and testing during antenatal care and at least 90 per cent PMTCT coverage is required.

“Achieving elimination of MTCT of HIV will contribute significantly to a reduction in under-five mortality,” the Health Supervisor stated.

Isamotu stressed that antenatal care and delivery at the state hospitals remains free of charge and that the HIV-positive mothers would not need to worry over the cost of caesarean section.

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From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo

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