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Digital Health Tools Can Contribute To Eliminating Mother-To-Child Transmission Of HIV

Devex: Harnessing the power of digital health to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission
Edward Bitarakwate, country director of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Uganda, and Hima Batavia, digital health in developing countries specialist

“…[S]imply through monitoring and tracking the delivery of a proven set of health interventions, the elimination of mother-to-child transmission [(eMTCT)] of HIV is very possible. … Uganda has made phenomenal progress in establishing health information systems to address vulnerabilities in its health system. To realize the vision of an integrated national digital health system that supports tracking women and children across the eMTCT cascade of care, three next steps are critical: First, Uganda needs to formally review and operationalize its national e-health strategy. … Secondly, a comprehensive review of eMTCT digital health tools needs to be conducted to architect an integrated platform that cuts across the eMTCT cascade of care. Finally, priority and investment is needed to establish unique patient identifiers to facilitate tracking of pregnant women and children through the health system and enable data to follow them between health information systems and digital health platforms. For the first time in history — by bringing together political will, resources, and the right digital health tools — the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and guaranteed HIV-free survival for newborns is within our reach…” (12/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.