Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus: investigating the uptake and utilization of maternal and child health services in Tiko health district, Cameroon
Introduction: despite evidence that interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV are effective in ensuring a healthy child and keeping mothers alive, there are many challenges to achieving successful interventions in Cameroon. The study was conducted to investigate factors that affect access to and utilization of maternal and child health (MCH) and PMTCT services among women in Tiko health district in Cameroon.
Methods: we conducted a cross-sectional, descriptive study on women of reproductive age who had experienced a pregnancy using a self-administered, structured questionnaire, in health facilities offering PMTCT services and in communities within the district.
Results: four hundred and thirteen women were interviewed. The majority, 98.4%, of them attended antenatal care (ANC) during their most recent pregnancy. Of these women, 87.4% of them made at least four ANC visits. HIV testing during the first visit among the ANC attendees was 85.5%. Approximately, 92.1% of women who tested for HIV received their results on the same day. All participants reported to have given birth in a health facility during their most recent pregnancy. No education (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.11; 95% CI 0.01-0.83) and acquisition of primary education (OR 0.25; 95% CI 0.06-0.88) was associated with better male partner involvement in PMTCT.
Conclusion: the uptake of MCH/PMTCT services was high in this study. Further exploration of these levels is warranted so that this model of care and engagement can be replicated in other parts of the country where uptake is low.