ABSTRACT: To evaluate the knowledge, attitudes and practices of health care providers (HCP) in Togo regarding prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT).
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 22 antenatal clinics with PMTCT programs from January 18 to February 6, 2010. Clinic selection was based on attendance and local factors. Data were collected through interviews conducted by 23 trained investigators.
A total of 97 HCP were interviewed at the 27 selected clinics. Most, i.e., 76%, had received PMTCT training. In terms of knowledge, interview data revealed the following strengths: 83% of HCP identified transmission from mother to child as the main route of HIV transmission in children < 15 years; 87% asserted that HIV-infected pregnant women do not always transmit HIV to their children; 77% knew that the ELISA test was performed after 18 months: and 96% had a clear notion about feeding infants born to HIV-infected mothers. Knowledge assessment revealed the following weaknesses: 30% of HCP had never heard of polymerase chain reaction; 27% said that confidentiality about HIV status was not always necessary; and 22% were unaware that decontamination of equipment using a chlorine solution kills HIV. In addition, interview data revealed the following positive attitudes and practices: 83% of HCP were willing to continue working in a center with a PMTCT program and 87% referred women pregnant for the HIV serology. On the negative side, however, only 27% of HCP summonsed husbands whose wives tested positive for HIV.
This investigation shows that the knowledge, attitudes and practices of HCP in Togo regarding PMTCT is fairly good. However, it also revealed several weaknesses that should be addressed by further training.
Médecine tropicale: revue du Corps de santé colonial 12/2011; 71(6):608-12.