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Malaysia first in region to overcome mum-to-child HIV transmission

Updated: Oct 18, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is the first country in the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Paci-f­ic Region to be certified as having eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis (eMTCT).

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad was presented with a validation certificate by WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific session yesterday in Manila.

With the success, Malaysia is the 12th country in the world to receive the certificate.

“Malaysia has achieved a level of health it can be proud of, where the mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis are no longer a key public health threat,” Dr Dzulkefly said in a statement.

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Mother -to-child infection.

He said HIV transmission from mother-to-child was the main cause of HIV infection among children. Without intervention, between 30% and 45% of children born from HIV positive mothers would get the infection while in the womb, during delivery or through breast-feeding. To overcome the problem, the ministry launched an infection prevention and treatment programme for the two infections.

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