American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease
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American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2014, 2(2), 52-59
DOI: 10.12691/ajeid-2-2-1
Open AccessArticle

The Role of the Male Partner in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Cameroon

Dickson Shey Nsagha1, , Gregory Edie Halle-Ekane2, Claude Shei Nfor2, Marcelin Ngowe Ngowe2 and Boniface Tatchwanglie Nasah2

1Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

2Department of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

Pub. Date: March 14, 2014

Cite this paper:
Dickson Shey Nsagha, Gregory Edie Halle-Ekane, Claude Shei Nfor, Marcelin Ngowe Ngowe and Boniface Tatchwanglie Nasah. The Role of the Male Partner in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Cameroon. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2014; 2(2):52-59. doi: 10.12691/ajeid-2-2-1

Abstract

Background: Mother to child transmission of HIV remains a major public health problem. To solve this problem WHO developed the PMTCT program. Involving male partners in the program is associated with improved outcome. However, in Cameroon, only 1.6% of men participated in the program in 2010 and the program’s target of 80% was not reached. Hence, this study sought to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of men with regards to PMTCT in the Buea Health District of Cameroon. Methods: It was a cross sectional survey of 384 community men and 384 women attending ANC/PMTCT and IWF clinics in the Buea Health District using a structured questionnaire. Ethical clearance was obtained from the FHSIRB. Each health area in the district represented a stratum. In each stratum, there was sampling of women at the clinics and men in the community. Written consent was obtained from all participants. Data was analysed on EPI INFO version 3.5.1. Results: More than 81% of respondents had heard of the PMTCT program (95%CI: 93.5-97.9%). However, the proportion of men and women with correct knowledge of PMTCT was less than the 80% target (95%CI: 72.5%-81.2% for men and 68.2-77.4% for women). The health services (p=0.0001), radio and television (p=0.0001) were the main sources of information on PMTCT. Attitudes towards PMTCT program activities and male involvement was largely positive. Male participation at ANC/PMTCT clinic was low (41.3%). Non-invitation to clinic and lack of time were the main reasons for low male participation. Use of condom during pregnancy and breastfeeding was low (74.5%) and practice of multiple sexual partners was common in the district. Community sensitisation, creation of clinic days for men and participation of couples at ANC clinics were proposed methods for improving male participation. Conclusion: Men have a role to play in PMTCT and should be given adequate knowledge of PMTCT for improved outcome.

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