All Pregnant Women Should be Counselled, Tested for HIV –Pediatrician

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Associate Professor of Paediatric Respiratory/Infectious Disease, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Dr. Atana Ewa, has advised all pregnant women to go for counselling and be tested for HIV during antenatal.

Ewa gave the advice in Calabar on Wednesday at a three-day workshop to reinvigorate and produce a work plan for journalists on the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission.

The workshop was organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF.

She said that HIV and AIDS was a major cause of infant and childhood mortality and morbidity in Africa.

All Pregnant Women Should be Counselled, Tested for HIV –Pediatrician
All Pregnant Women Should be Counselled, Tested for HIV –Pediatrician

“Ideally, the healthcare provider should counsel the parents and look for HIV in a child presented to a health facility.

“Identifying HIV in children requires a high index of suspicion.

“Usually the symptoms and signs of HIV infection in childhood are similar to those of other diseases seen in the tropics, but they may be more severe and occur more frequently.

“The common conditions associated with HIV are frequently infectious in nature,’’ she said.

Ewa said that early features usually non-specific are fever, diarrhoea, failure to thrive, cough and generalised lymphadenopathy.

Others, she said were signs of opportunistic infections and recurrent and more severe forms of common illnesses in the child.

According to her, knowledge of the HIV structure is important in understanding the mechanism of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).

(NAN)

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