The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, EGPAF has offered the “Point-of Care- Early Infant Diagnosis- POC EID ” platforms to the Ministry of Public Health.
Halim Hayatou, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Public Health received the equipments which facilitates the diagnosis of Pediatric AIDS.
The EGPAF officials say “POC EID allows non-specialized healthcare workers to run tests in decentralized clinics and can return results within hours”.
This life-saving milestone equally permits HIV positive tested children to be placed on treatment early enough.
According to Pediatric AIDS experts , early diagnosis and treatment gives infected children the same survival chances as healthy children.
Dr. John Ditenemena , country Director of EGPAF adds that,
” Pediatric HIV is aggressive and progresses rapidly. Time is never in the side of an HIV exposed infant, and testing and initiating HIV positive infants on treatment rapidly gives them the best chance to live full , healthy and productive lives” .
POC EID was initially installed in 2015 in 154 sites across in 42 health districts in Cameroon . Since then, 13,771 HIV-exposed children aged between 5- 8 weeks have been screened.
Before the project was implemented, screening with conventional equipment took up to 35 days, but POC EID has reduced the screening time to barely a few hours.
POC EID is funded by Unitaid, an international organization that funds projects for the timely diagnosis and efficient treatment of HIV/AIDS , and other infections like Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis and Malaria .
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Foundation on its part, chiefly fights Pediatric HIV/AIDS . Since it’s creation in 1988, the organization has screened over 30,000 women in order to prevent mother to child transmission . Today, EGPAF has reached 19 counties with prevention, care and treatment services.
Kathy Neba Sina