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Examining the acceptance of voluntary counselling and testing among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the upper west regional hospital, Ghana

Author: 
Genevieve Yiripare and Africanus L. Diedong
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) provides people with the opportunity to learn and accept their sero status in a confidential environment. Recent studies have shown that VCT is a cost-effective intervention for reducing HIV amongst pregnant women. To know their HIV status is an important tool for prevention of mother to child transmission. VCT among pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) clinics is the first filter to access Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). The objective of this study is to investigate into factors responsible for the acceptance of VCT among pregnant women in the Wa Municipality. The study is a descriptive cross-sectional study which adopts both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. Two hundred pregnant women attending ANC were exit interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Key Informant Interview was conducted for 10 health providers involved in VCT and ANC activities. The study shows that 83 percent of pregnant women attending ANC had knowledge on VCT services though acceptance level was only 32 percent. Forty-four percent of them mentioned that the main barrier was fear, stigma and discrimination. Intensive health education on VCT using available methods like mass communication, peer group education, community meetings are recommended. VCT being the entry point for PMTCT should be strengthened.

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