Malaysia eliminates mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis


Malaysia eliminates mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis

8 October 2018, Joint News Release, Manila, Philippines
Malaysia today became the first country in the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region to be certified as having eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
“Thanks to Malaysia’s efforts over the past several years, parents can now ensure their babies are born free of HIV and syphilis and have a healthy start to life,” said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. “Elimination could not have been achieved without Malaysia’s strong commitment to ensuring access to quality and affordable health services for all women, children and families.”
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Dr Shin presented Malaysia’s Minister of Health, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, with a certificate of elimination during the session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, which opened today in Manila, Philippines.
As treatment for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission is not 100% effective, elimination of transmission is defined as a reduction of transmission to such a low level that it no longer constitutes a public health problem.
Criteria for Elimination WHO’s Global guidance on criteria and processes for validation: Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis outlines the process and indicators that countries need to meet for validation:Impact Indicators – must be met for at least 1 year:

  • fewer than 50 new paediatric HIV infections due mother-to-child transmission of HIV per 100 000 live births;
  • HIV mother-to-child transmission rate of less than 5% in breastfeeding populations, less than 2% in non-breastfeeding populations; and
  • fewer than 50 new cases of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis per 100 000 live births.

Process Indicators – must be met for at least 2 years:

  • ≥95% of pregnant women receive at least one antenatal visit;
  • ≥95% of pregnant women are tested for HIV and syphilis; and
  • ≥95% of infected pregnant women receive adequate treatment.

A country that is “validated” has met the internationally set targets at a specific point in time. They are required to maintain ongoing programmes after validation.

Malaysia eliminates mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis

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