UNAIDS - 20 February 2012
GENEVA, 20 February 2012--The Government of the Republic Benin, in
collaboration with UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA and partners, today
launched a national plan aimed at eliminating new HIV infections
among children and improving the health of their mothers.
"This plan will contribute to satisfying the quality requirements
for the care of pregnant women living with HIV, their children
and their families," said Benin's Minister of Health, Prof.
Dorothee Kinde-Gazard, speaking today at an official ceremony in
Cotonou hosted by the President of Benin, Dr Thomas Yayi Boni.
"It will make it possible to harmonize services that prevent
mother-to-child transmission of HIV throughout the country and to
better coordinate the interventions."
According to government estimates, approximately 62 000 people
are living with HIV in Benin. Between 2004 and 2011, the number
of health facilities offering services that prevent new HIV
infections in children expanded from 204 to 450. Despite
progress, only about half (49%) of pregnant women eligible for
HIV services are currently receiving them.
In June 2011, Benin signed on to the Global Plan towards the
elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and
keeping their mothers alive. As part of this effort, the national
plan aims to ensure that all pregnant women living with HIV have
access to HIV prevention and treatment services, and that new HIV
infections among children are eliminated.
"I applaud the vision, commitment and will of Benin's political
leadership--in particular the Minister of Health--to ensure that in
the coming years, we will see that no child in Benin is born with
HIV and that all mothers remain healthy and alive," said UNAIDS
Executive Director Michel Sidibe, who also attended today's
The expected impact of the plan for the period 2012 to 2015:
1. A 90% reduction in the number of new HIV infections among
2. A 90% reduction in the number of AIDS-related deaths among
3. A 50% reduction in the number of AIDS-related deaths among
mothers in the 12-month post-partum period.
A number of strategies will be employed to reach these goals,
such as: ensuring access to comprehensive services that prevent
new HIV infections among children at all maternity hospitals
across the country; ensuring access to treatment for all pregnant
women who are eligible for antiretroviral therapy; expanding
access to voluntary HIV testing and counselling; strengthening
access to male and female condoms, especially among young people;
and public advocacy campaigns.
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Benin - http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/benin/