INTRODUCTION: Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) is a key strategy in programs aiming to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. Rwanda adopted this program since 2010 and scaled it up in all public health facilities including health centers (HCs). Over all, Karongi District hospitals and its health centers recorded consistent decreases of HIV transmission rates from mothers to children. This article assesses and summarizes Karongi’s success story.
METHODS: Data were abstracted from routine Health Management Information System (HMIS) for the period between July 2010 to June 2019. The target population was women attending PMTCT services.
Data analyses we preformed using excel and proportions were presented. The outcome of interest was the proportion of infected children born to HIV-positive mothers.
RESULTS: A total of 92,366 pregnant women attended PMTCT services in Karongi District, from 2010-2019. A proportion of 83.5% of them were accompanied by their husbands for PMTCT services. The HIV prevalence among pregnant women attending ANC services decreased from 2.7% in 2010 to 0.3% in 2019; the rate among sub-districts varied between 0.011% in 2010 and 0.003% in 2019. Kibuye sub-district recorded the highest number of HIV-positive women from 2010 to 2019 (460). During labor, in the study period, 45,118 pregnant women attended maternity services in Karongi District; among them 113 (0.25%) had
HIV-positive tests. One HIV transmission was registered in 2019. From 2010, among exposed infants, 22 have been HIV-infected through MTCT at 8 weeks or 18 months. The transmission rate in 2019 (a single case), for the considered period, was 0.12%.
CONCLUSION: PMTCT succeeded in Karongi District. This success of elimination of HIV transmission from mother-to-child should be sustained. In this context, HIV-free generation can be expected.