Assessment of HIV Exposed Infants on Follow Up at Mentor Mothers Program Sites in Kwale County - Kenya, 2016–2018

  • Viral hepatitis and HIV
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Mentor mother’s program (MMP) was initiated to accelerate elimination of mother to child transmission (eMTCT) of HIV by addressing psychosocial challenges faced by mothers living with HIV in Kenya. In 2016, rate of mother- to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) was 22% in Kwale County, higher than Kenya’s national rate of 8.3%. We characterized HIV Exposed Infants (HEIs) and mothers on follow up in the MMP.
We reviewed records of mothers on follow up at seven MMP sites in two Sub-Counties in Kwale county, from 2016 to 2018. Data were extracted from the MMP register and variables assessed were socio demographic characteristics, mother’s HIV status at first visit, male partners’ HIV status and HEI outcome at 18 months. Descriptive statistics were calculated using MS Excel. We used a standardized tool to conduct data quality audit.
We reviewed 300 records; mean age was 29 years (±5.8 years), 61% (184/300) resided in Matuga Sub-County, 99% (296/300) were married, 74% (223/300) were living with HIV at enrollment, 82% (246/300) had a male partner who was living with HIV and 19% (56/300) were accompanied by their male partner to the MMP clinics. Of 300 infants born alive, 5% (16/300) were not delivered in a health facility and 94% (283/300) received Nevirapine infant prophylaxis, 90% (270/300) were tested by polymerase chain reaction at 6 weeks and 83% (249/300) had ELISA test at 18 months. After 18 months follow up for HEI, 72% (216/300) tested negative to HIV while 4% (12/300) tested positive, 3% (9/300) died and 21% (63/300) were lost to follow up.
The MTCT of HIV in the MMP sites was lower than the county average, however, there is need to strengthen defaulter tracing and improve infant care to reduce the loss to follow up and early deaths.

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