01 December 2010
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) report states India recorded 18000 children getting HIV from 65000 HIV positive mothers in 2009. PHO has claimed that the strategy put in place for prevention of PPTCT is outdated.
Dr I S Gilada, Secretary General of PHO said, "The government is still using the Nevrapine protocol for PPTCT with success rate of 50%, a strategy meant for Africa, which has been declared inferior by UN World Health Organisation in 2005 and causes lot of complications."
He further said, "There is modified ACTG076 protocol which has 98% protocol which is a little expensive as compared to Nevrapine but gives 98% success rate."
Further Dr Gilada said that the government can intervene and bring down the rates of the medicines administered under the protocol.
Puja Ambwani , Executive member said, "Nevrapine protocol is initiated at the onset of labour pains by pregnant women and then the drug is given to the baby. This is late as compared to modified ACTGO76 protocol which begins 3 months before the onset of labour pains and has better chances in prevention of AIDS."
Alleging that the government was not serious about the issue Dr Gilada said, "Apathy and lack of political will has lead to a poor national programme. Human life is being compromised, it should be valued whether it is developing country or developed, whether it is of rich or of poor."
Dr Gilada also informed that he would be filing an intervening application in the ongoing Supreme Court case of Sahara House v/s Union of India Writ petition 535 / 1998 on the overall HIV treatment, besides lapses in the PPTCT, by the Government of India.