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Namibia Emerges First to Eliminate Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission in Africa

Namibia has become the first country in Africa and the first high-burden country globally to reach a significant milestone in eliminating vertical mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and viral hepatitis B, according to the World Health Organization’s African Region Office.

The WHO stated that the country, home to more than 200,000 people living with HIV, has made substantial progress in reducing vertical transmission rates through widespread HIV testing among pregnant women and improved access to treatment, resulting in a 70% reduction in transmission over the last 20 years.

The WHO awarded Namibia “silver tier” status for progress on reducing hepatitis B and “bronze tier” for progress on HIV, citing the country’s integrated primary health care services and commitment to stable domestic financing for health programs.

The WHO’s Triple Elimination Initiative aims to end vertical transmission of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B virus in low- and middle-income countries, promoting integrated services and a person-centered approach to improving health outcomes for mothers and children.

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