Malaysia has turned out to be the first country in Western Pacific to bring down mother-to-child HIV transmission and also syphilis to such a point that it is no longer a public health issue. The World Health Organization have presented Dzulkefly Ahmad, the Health Minister with a certificate to abolish during the sixty-ninth sessions of WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in Manila region of Philippines.
All thanks to the efforts of Malaysia in the past years, parents are now sure that the babies that are born are free of HIV and syphilis and they have a healthy start to life as said by Dr. Shin Young-soo, the WHO regional director of Western Pacific in the joint statement by the regional office of Who for the UNICEF regional office of East Asia, WHO regional Office of Western Pacific, the Ministry of Health Malaysia, and UNAIDS Asia Pacific.
Dr Shin Young-soo says that elimination wouldn’t have been possible without the strong commitment of Malaysia to ensure that they have access to affordable and quality health service to all children, women, and families. Malaysia started offering services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in 1998 and also 1988 as per the health ministry. At present, antenatal testing and also the treatment of HIV and syphilis are offered for free of charge in Malaysia.
As per the statement, all women in Malaysia have quick access to health services such as contraception. Moreover, they get skilled attendants during child birth. Nonetheless, the government clinic offers birth control pills to the married woman irrespective of the Health Ministry that claims that it didn’t discriminate against any unmarried women.
The statement showed that the total number of babies that are born with syphilis or HIV has been reduced to a certain level which can be taken to be the elimination of the problem.