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'Cuba first country to eradicate mother-to-child HIV transmission'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Hava, July 1: Cuba on Tuesday became the first country in the world to eradicate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to newborn, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO announced in a press release that it validated Cuba’s success in elimiting mother-to-child transmission. “Elimiting transmission of a virus is one of the greatest public health achievements possible,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.

“This is a major victory in our long fight against HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and an important step towards having an AIDS-free generation,” she added. Cuba celebrated getting the recognition from the intertiol agency.

“It is a historic day for the prevention of HIV and AIDS and for progress towards a generation free of this burden both tionwide and around the world,” Xinhua cited Cuba’s state daily Granma as saying.

“This is a celebration for Cuba and a celebration for children and families everywhere. It shows that ending the AIDS epidemic is possible and we expect Cuba to be the first of many countries coming forward to seek validation that they have ended their epidemics among children,” said Michel Sidibe, executive director of UIDS.

The number of children born annually with HIV has almost halved since 2009, down from 400,000 in 2009 to 240,000 in 2013, but much more needs to be done “to reach the global target of less than 40,000 new child infections per year by 2015”, the WHO said. (IANS)

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