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Product Code: 00006261

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This purpose of the study is to assess the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS programme in Ahmadu Bello University Medical Centre, Zaria. The study determine the availability of PMTCT services, the availability of qualified PMTCT service providers, the availability of material for this PMTCT services and also the level of utilization of these PMTCT services Voluntary counseling, HIV testing, Antiretroviral therapy, Caesarean section and safer infant feeding counseling in ABUMC. The study attempted finding answers to research questions by using descriptive statistics. Data was collected from 54 respondents with the aid of structured questionnaire and analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) window version 20.0. The result obtained showed that that available PMTCT services of voluntary counseling of (63.0%) is being provided together with HIV testing of (37.0%) which shows that they are available. The study further  revealed that qualified PMTCT doctors are moderately available of (46.3%) while nurses and midwives are highly available of (74.1%)The study further shows that PMTCT materials are available such HIV test kit which is highly available of (55.6). Moreover, the utilization level of PMTCT services such as voluntary counseling is highly available of (74.1%) while others such are caesarean section were not available of about (59.3%). In view of the findings above, the following recommendation were made social workers and health programme managers should be employed and trained for PMTCT programme to sensitive, educate and encourage HIV positive pregnant women to avail  themselves of PMTCT programme. The university management, donor agencies and support groups should adequately provide antiretroviral drugs, HIV test kits and CD4 count machines for Ahmadu Bello University Medical Centre, Zaria.          



Table of Content vi
List of Tables x
Abstract xi

1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 9
1.3 Aims/Objectives of the Study 10
1.4      Research Questions 10
1.5 Significance of the Study 11
1.6 Scope of the Study 14
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms 14

2.1 Concept of PMTCT 16
2.2  Estimated Risk of MTCT 16
2.3 Factors Influencing MTCT 17
2.4 National Strategies for PMTCT 19
2.4.1 Antenatal Case 19
2.4.2 Initial Examination 19
2.5 Prevention of MTCT Through Antiretrovirals 20
2.6 Conceptual Framework 21
2.7 Theory and Assessment Models 23
2.7.1 Theory of reasoned action (TRA). 23
2.7.2 Health belief model (HBM). 24
2.8 Empirical Studies on PMTCT of HIV and AIDS 26
2.9 Summary of Literature 33

3.1 Introduction 35
3.2 Research Design 35
3.3 Research Setting 36
3.4 Study Population 36
3.5 Sample Size 36
3.6 Sampling Technique 36
3.7 Instrument for Data Collection 36
3.8 Method of Data Collection 37
3.9 Validity of Instrument 37
3.10 Ethical Considerations 38
3.11 Method of Data Analysis 38

4.1 Introduction 39
4.1 Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents 40
4.2 PMTCT services provided…………………………………………………………………...41
4.3 Qualified PMTCT services providers available……………………………………………...42
4.4 PMTCT materials available………………………………………………………………….43
4.5 Utilization level of PMTCT services…………………………………………………….......45

5.1 Introduction 48
5.2 Discussion of Findings 48
5.2.1 Socio-demographic characteristics of respondent 48
5.2.3 PMTCT Services provided 48
5.2.4 Qualified PMTCT services providers available 49
5.2.5 PMTCT Materials  Available 49
5.2.6 Utilization level of VC, HIV testing ART, CS and Safe infant feeding 49
5.3 Implication for Nursing 50
5.4 Limitation of the Study 50
5.5 Summary 51
5.6 Conclusions 51
5.7 Recommendation 52
References 53

Table 2.1: Estimated Risk of MTCT 17
Table 4.1  Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents 40
Table 4.2  PMTCT services provide 41
Table 4.3  Qualified PMTCT services providers available 42
Table 4.4    PMTCT materials available 43
Table 4.5: Utilization level of PMTCT services 46



HIV (Human Immuno Deficiency Virus)  is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (15 – 44), and approximately around 76% of pregnant women living with HIV received antiretroviral medicines to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children (UNAIDS, 2017) In most parts of the world, HIV infection is increasing faster among women than men. Nowhere is the trend more apparent than in sub – Saharan Africa where women comprise 51 percent of existing HIV infection (UNAIDS, 2017). These differences in infection rates are due to a combination of factors. Women and girls are commonly discriminated against in terms of access to education, employment and land inheritance. With increasing poverty levels, African women have found themselves in casual relationship with men as this can serve as a conduit for financial and social security. Women, therefore, find it difficult to demand for safe sex, as they become subordinates or dependents of mainly older men. Women are also biologically prone to infection and HIV is easily transmitted from men to women than the reverse.

This has led to the increase in women living with HIV. Results of early studies analyzing progression and survival in HIV syndrome suggested a difference based on gender. Most of these studies indicated that the prognosis for women was worse than for men. This reflected late access to limited care (Bastian, Bennet, Adams, Waskin, Divine & Edlin, 2011; Melnick, Sherer, Louise, Hillman, Rodriguez, Lackman, Capps, Brown, Caryln & Korvick 2012). Lack of access to care, minimal self – motivation, and attention to the health care of their children over that of themselves all contributed to decreased rates of early detection and intervention. HIV and AIDS for women, therefore, is an issue of access to health care (UNAIDS, 2014). The hardest-hit regions are areas where heterosexual contact is the primary mode of transmission. This is most evident in sub-Saharan Africa, where close to 60 per cent of adults living with HIV and AIDS are women. Women and girls make up a growing proportion of those infected by HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS/WHO, 2015).

AIDS is a disease of the immune system that makes the individual highly vulnerable to life-threatening infections such as tuberculosis (TB) and certain types of cancer. AIDS is caused by a retrovirus known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which attacks and impairs the body’s natural defence system against diseases and infections (Piwoz & Preble, 2009). They further stated that HIV is a slow-acting virus that may take years to produce illness in a person. HIV is transmitted via three primary routes: having unprotected sex with a person already carrying the HIV virus; transfusions of contaminated blood and its by-products or use off non-sterilized instruments, such as sharp needles, razor, and other surgical tools; and from an infected mother to her child (MTCT) during pregnancy, labor, childbirth or breastfeeding.

According to UNAIDS/WHO (2014), the principal mode of transmission of HIV in Africa is heterosexual. The second is mother – to – child transmission, which is the main mode of acquisition of HIV infection in children under 15 years. The number of children living with HIV infection is estimated at 2.5 million since the epidemic began. Each year, around half a million children aged under 15 become infected with HIV. Almost all of these infections occur in developing countries, and more than 90 percent are the results of mother – to – child transmission during pregnancy, labor and delivery or breast – feeding. Without interventions, there is a 20 – 45 per cent chance that a baby born to an HIV – infected mother will become infected (De Cock, Fowler, Mercier, de Vincenzi, Saba & Hoff, 2009).

Mother to child transmission (MTCT) also known as vertical transmission occurs when HIV positive woman passes the virus to her baby. This can occur during pregnancy, labor and delivery or breastfeeding, (Msellati, Leroy & Lepage, 2011). The most effective means of reducing mother – to – child transmission is to provide fully suppressive Antiretroviral therapy (ART) to the mother in long term, thereby not only reducing the risk of vertical transmission, but also sustaining the life and health of the mother while the child is growing up. In high income countries, MTCT has been virtually eliminated thanks to effective prevention programmes (Preble & Piwoz, 2009).

According to Hornby, (2011), prevention is the act of stopping something bad from happening. Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and AIDS therefore, is the act of stopping a mother from passing or transmitting HIV and AIDS to her child during pregnancy, labour, delivery and breastfeeding. The member states of the United Nations set target for PMTCT in 2011, as part of a landmark agreement called the UNGASS (United Nations General Assembly) declaration. In this document, the world leaders made the following pledge: by 2005, reduce the proportion of infants infected with HIV by 20 per cent, and by 50 per cent by 2014, by: ensuring that 80 per cent of pregnant women accessing antenatal care have information, counseling and other HIV prevention services available to them (UNGASS, 2011). The goals of PMTCT programme go beyond decreasing the MTCT risk to a minimum, and aim to achieve the strategic goal of virtual elimination of HIV infection in infants (Malyuta, Newell, Ostergren, Thorne & Zhilka, 2008).

Effective PMTCT, according to UNAIDS/WHO (2014), requires a three – fold strategy – (1) Preventing HIV infection among prospective parents, (2) Avoiding unwanted pregnancies among HIV positive women, and (3) Preventing the transmission of HIV from HIV positive mothers to their infants during pregnancy, labor, delivery and breast feeding. UNAIDS (2014), added that PMTCT of HIV consists of a core package of interventions which includes, (1) Voluntary counseling (VC), (2) HIV testing, (3) Antiretroviral therapy (ART), (4) Obstetric intervention or caesarean section (CS), and (5) Safe infant feeding counseling. (Zaman and Thorne-Lyman 2014) added ARV (antiretroviral vaccine) prophylaxis given to the baby within 72 hours of birth (a onetime dose). But this study shall settle on the first five.

Voluntary counseling (VC) is the cornerstone of the PMTCT programme and provides critical information to pregnant women about HIV testing and prevention. Counseling is also necessary to help HIV- infected women to adjust to their diagnosis and reduce transmission to their children. Thus, counseling can enhance not only the possibility of reducing HIV vertical transmission but also the quality of antenatal care and other health services in addition to the prevention of HIV MTCT (Perez-Then, Pena, Tavarez-Rojas, Pena, Quinonez & Buttler, 2009).

HIV testing of pregnant women is to identify which women are infected so that increased precautions could be taken to reduce exposure of health care workers to HIV during deliveries (Stringer, Stringer & Phanuphak, 2008). For pregnant women, the benefit of HIV testing is to learn their HIV status so they could decide about pregnancy continuation, subsequent birth control, and prevention of HIV transmission to partners.

Women who have reached the advanced stages of HIV disease require a combination of antiretroviral drugs for their own health. This treatment, which must be taken every day for the rest of a woman’s life, is also highly effective at reducing the risk of mother to child transmission. Women who require treatment will usually be advised to take it, beginning either immediately or after the first trimester. Their newborn babies will usually be given a course of treatment for the first few days or weeks of life, to lower the risk even further (Kanabus & Nobel, 2008).

Caesarean section is an operation to deliver a baby through its mother abdominal wall. When a mother is HIV positive, a caesarean section may be done to protect the baby from direct contact with her blood and other fluids. However, there is a need to weigh the risk of HIV transmission against the risk of harm due to intervention (Kanabus & Nobel, 2008).

Safe infant feeding counseling is the advice given to pregnant mothers especially those who are HIV positive on safer feeding option of their infant to avoid postpartum transmission of HIV. According to UNICEF, UNAIDS and WHO (2014), they are advice on the following different feeding methods during the first six months of postpartum: use of breast milk substitute exclusively, mixed feeding strategy (breast milk substitutes and breastfeeding) and exclusive breastfeeding.

According to UNICEF, UNAIDS and WHO (2013), many countries are implementing pilot programmes, which are aimed at demonstrating the feasibility and the effectiveness of integrating activities to prevent mother – to – child transmission of HIV into routine Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services in developing countries. Preble and Piwoz (2009) also stated that low utilization of Antenatal Clinic (ANC) and other MCH services is a major problem in many resources – poor Asian countries. Advocacy for improved MCH services and use at all levels (community to national) is critical for PMTCT and has direct and indirect benefits for all mothers. For example: reducing the incidence and severity of malaria, tuberculosis, reproductive tract, and other infections will improve an HIV-infected women’s chances of avoiding or delaying conditions that will compromise her health and survival; improving antenatal care will improve birth outcomes, such as stillbirths, low birth weight, preterm births, and infant mortality, regardless of HIV status of the mother; and malnutrition and HIV infection are inextricably linked. Improving HIV-infected mother’s nutritional status may help to slow the progression of HIV disease and prolong survival.

PMTCT is an ongoing programme. The Federal Ministry of Health (Nigeria) developed a national PMTCT of HIV Programme in 2001. Since then, sites providing PMTCT services have increased, involving partners such as UNICEF, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), APIN (AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria) and USAID(United States Agency for International Development). PMTCT services have also been expanded from the initial tertiary health facilities to secondary and primary health facilities (UNICEF, 2013). According to National Agency for the Control of AIDS –NACA (2007), as at first of March, 2007, PMTCT sites in Nigeria was 195, out of which53 are in private hospitals and the remaining ones are in government hospitals.

Malyuta et al (2008) noted that the PMTCT programme has been integrated into existing maternal and child health care services supervised by the ANC Department of Health Care for mother and child, with collaboration from HIV and AIDS specific services. Nobel (2007) opined that to achieve wide coverage, PMTCT programme must be integrated into existing public health systems, with services provided by all antenatal and delivery clinics. More so, a health system is a blend of public and private sector in both service delivery and funding organization. Therefore, PMTCT programme should be provided by both government and private hospitals.

Every programme endeavor, including prevention of MTCT of HIV and AIDS aims at maintaining its relevance through monitoring and assessment of its activities. Assessment is essential to identify shortcomings in PMTCT of HIV programme and to conceptualize approaches to improve services (Reithinger, Megazzini, Durako, Harris & Vermund, 2007). This in turn, will improve a programme’s cost effectiveness and long term sustainability and save the most infant lives.

Assessment as defined by Trochim (2006), is the systematic acquisition and assessment of information to provide useful feedback about some object. Assessment can provide information support for local management and strategy, policy and program formulation and budgeting, and program delivery through various services and institutions.

Fenton, 1996 define assessment as the collection of relevant information that may be relied on for making decisions which involve observation, interpretation and cognition.

Assessment helps to emphasize the importance of evaluation participants, especially the client or users of a programme and stakeholders. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality- AHRQ (2007), observed that potential audiences for quality measurement report for child health care services are the providers and the consumers. In this case, pregnant women and health care providers’ perception measures as well as several measures of the delivery of preventive care may be used to assess the quality of the health plan or programme for PMTCT of HIV and AIDS services in ABUMC (Ahmadu Bello University Medical Centre). WHO (2004), observed that the main providers of healthcare and their role in child health includes two main categories of government and public sector players.

A pregnant woman must receive antenatal care at a centre offering HIV testing. If she consents to testing she must receive her HIV test result and, if infected, receive appropriate prophylaxis. She must then take the prophylaxis during labor and her infant must receive prophylaxis after delivery. Finally, the mother and infant must receive follow-up care to ensure that they have any necessary treatment and that the infant is tested for HIV, typically in the second year of life when HIV antibody testing is reliable.

The effective implementation of PMTCT programme requires the introduction of health care providers as with the introduction of health service providers into any new health service. At the same time, facilities would have to create an enabling and supportive environment that motivates health care providers to effectively apply their learning and provide PMTCT services to HIV- positive women and mothers (Tint, Doherty, Nkonki, Witten & Chopra, 2008). 

Skinner et al (2007) observed that the generally low level of education and skill in an area would also limit the capacity for development. In this case, low level of education among pregnant women may limit their use of PMTCT programme. Bajunirwe and Muzoora (2008), found that women with at least a post-primary education are more likely to choose HIV testing compared to those with lower education.

The focus on the implementation of PMTCT in rural community is important since research often tends to be focused on urban areas (Skinner et al 2007). They further observed that people who stay in rural areas are often neglected and isolated from the benefits that accrue from research. Furthermore, people who stay in the more in accessible rural areas have difficulties in reaching the clinics. Bajunirwe and Muzoora (2008) suggested that it is crucial that any differences between rural and urban areas are addressed since the significant proportion of people in developing countries live in the rural areas.

Magoni et al (2007) discovered that the mean age of women who attended ANC for PMTCT programme was 25.3 years. That women over thirty years of age enrolled in the programme more than women less than twenty years.

Approximately 32% of all cases of mother to child transmission of HIV in the world happen in Nigeria UNAIDS (2014 January 14th). Since the first pediatric AIDS case was documented in 1985, the number of infected children has increased markedly, and the health care for these children is becoming an increasing burden on the public health system (Perez- Then et al, 2007). As a result, PMTCT programme was initiated.

Unfortunately, literature has shown that several factors impede the availability and utilization of PMTCT. By implication, one may be tempted to doubt the availability and adequacy of PMTCT resources and the level of utilization of these services by pregnant women. Skinner et al (2007) found out that several clinics that provide the services to the local population were already unstaffed and over-pressured. But it is an accepted fact that availability and adequacy of resources are important in the utilization of PMTCT services.

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