̔ Take-home ̓ ARV drugs package to be launched

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MASERU – The Ministry of Health will tomorrow launch the “Mother Baby Pack” in Makhunoane in Butha-Buthe.

The Mother Baby Pack is a take-home package of anti-retroviral drugs that are given to HIV-pregnant mothers.

The mothers are expected to take the drugs before, during and after giving birth to prevent them from passing on HIV infection to their unborn babies.

The package is also given to HIV negative mothers in case they contract the disease in the course of pregnancy.

Three colour-coated drugs come in a box which has drawings on it to demonstrate to mothers who cannot read when to take certain drugs.   

Health Minister Mphu Ramatlapeng said the initiative which was set up by Lesotho nurses had already been adopted in Kenya, Cameroon and Zambia.

“I am proud to say that this idea was initiated by our nurses in Butha-Buthe. It was first called minimum package.

“It was improved by the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organisation and was then renamed Mother Baby Pack which will be launched to improve mothers, and children’s health,” Ramatlapeng said.

She said unlike in other countries where the package is given to HIV positive mothers only, all the pregnant mothers will get the treatment in Lesotho.

“Our aim is to have at least 91.8 percent of pregnant mothers benefiting from the Mother Baby Package,” she said.

She said the ministry will ensure that there is consistent supply of the package in all health centres across the country.

“Mothers will also get all the support they will need to ensure accurate use of the treatment.”

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