Journal of
AIDS and HIV Research

  • Abbreviation: J. AIDS HIV Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2359
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAHR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 283

Review

A review of infant feeding policy in Botswana within the context of best practices for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): 1998 to 2012

Paulson Amibor
  • Paulson Amibor
  • International Public Health Consultant
  • Google Scholar
Nadege Pinel Ade
  • Nadege Pinel Ade
  • Global Health Consultant and Researcher, Central and West Africa.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Accepted: 25 June 2013
  •  Published: 31 August 2013

Abstract

In this review, the extent to which the Government of Botswana (GoB) applied international health recommendations and guidelines on infant feeding “best practices” within the context of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), into its national infant feeding policies between 1998 and 2012 was assessed. The infant feeding guidelines of focus here are those endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) between 1998 and 2006, namely, involving the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for infants in the first six months of life, irrespective of the HIV status of their mothers, under circumstances in which uninterrupted access to safe formula feeding cannot be ensured. This review identifies a significant delay in policy transfer from international guidelines to Botswana’s national infant feeding policies, particularly between the years 1998 and 2006. The need for more effective policy coordination and more efficient research management are recommended to the Botswana government as a means of avoiding such occurrences in the near future. These recommendations are also relevant to other low and middle-income countries and particularly to many countries within sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV-endemicity and high rates of vertical transmission persist in many countries, and where improvements in health policy implementation mechanisms can afford many benefits.

 

Key words: Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, infant feeding policies, Government of Botswana (GoB), Ministry of Health of Botswana (GoB MoH), acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe (AFASS).