Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) uptake, nevirapine use and infant feeding options at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital.J Obstet Gynaecol 2008; 28(3):276-9JO
This study assessed voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) uptake, nevirapine use and infant feeding options among the pregnant women seen in a tertiary care centre in Enugu, South-east Nigeria, with the aim of identifying gaps (if any) in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) implementation in the hospital. It was a prospective study of all antenatal clinic attendees and those who delivered at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, within a 7-month period (1 March to 30 September 2005). During the 7-month period, 635 pregnant women accessed the PMTCT services in the hospital. With respect to VCT, 25 (3.9%) of the antenatal clinic attendees had only group counselling, while 610 (96.1%) others had both group and individual pre-test counselling. A total of 87 (13.7%) of the 635 women tested were HIV positive. Some 426 (67.1%) women had post-test counselling carried out. Twenty (23.0%) of the 87 HIV-positive women had their infection diagnosed prior to the current pregnancy, while 67 (77.0%) had the disease diagnosed during the index pregnancy. Eight (9.2%) of them had previously had anti-retroviral therapy with nevirapine. Twelve (13.8%) of the women were on antiretroviral therapy in the index pregnancy - two on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and 10 on nevirapine. A total of 41 (47.1%) of the 87 HIV-positive women had delivered as at 30 September 2005. Ten of them had antiretrovirals administered to them during the antenatal period. The remaining 31 had antiretrovirals administered to them on arrival at the labour ward for delivery. Of the 41 women who delivered, 39 had intra-partum nevirapine, while the 2 women on HAART took their usual daily dosage. Regarding mode of delivery, one-third of the women had a caesarean section and two-thirds had vaginal delivery. Ten (24.4%) of the 41 women had episiotomy, while seven of the remaining 31 women who did not receive episiotomy sustained varying degrees of perineal tear. There was no maternal death. All the 41 live born babies received nevirapine syrup at birth. A total of 86 (98.9%) out of the 87 HIV-positive women had infant feeding counselling. All chose exclusive breast-milk substitutes for their babies. There was one twin delivery, giving a total of 42 babies delivered. One of the babies was a stillbirth. The rest survived the neonatal period. It was concluded that the VCT uptake at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, is high. The majority of the women and their babies received peripartum nevirapine and at delivery all the women chose to do exclusive formula-feeding. The main gaps identified by the study were that most of the women delivered vaginally and there were delays in obtaining HIV test results. It remains to be seen how these variables will affect the vertical transmission rate.