Nevirapine Single-Dose Packs Improve Protection from Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

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Topic: Intervention/Prevention , Kenya

[Note: This case study was originally published in 2009. Download a PDF or read the case study here.]

In resource-restricted settings, nevirapine is a critical drug for preventing mother-to-child HIV prevention (PMTCT) during labor and delivery. HIV-positive mothers take a tablet early in labor and give a liquid formulation orally to the infants within 72 hours of birth. In Africa, many fewer babies than mothers receive their dose. A major obstacle has been the lack of individually packaged doses of liquid pediatric nevirapine. The large number of women who give birth at home should be given such doses during antenatal clinic visits. A collaboration among PATH, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), nevirapine producer Boehringer Ingelheim, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Kenya Ministry of Health set out to develop a simple nevirapine delivery system for newborns.

Lessons Learned:

  • Reducing rates of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa, where many babies are born at home, requires treatments that can be administered easily by the new mother or her birthing assistant, outside of a hospital or health care facility.
  • Simple technical changes in packaging can increase access and usage of needed medication.
  • Collaborations between corporate drug developers and nonprofit organizations combine the dual need for research and advocacy to achieve these technical changes.


1 response to “Nevirapine Single-Dose Packs Improve Protection from Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission ”

  1. Charles B. D. Nyaberi Says:
    While working as the Community Prevention Team Leader at Marie Stopes Kenya, BSK came up with improvised New-born Septrin and other "pro-rated" adult dosages packed in used plastic bottles and labeled with paper stickers. The PATH and EGPAF USAID-supported initiatives have by far revolitionised and standardised the practice. However in my view the following problems still persist:

    1. LIMITED ACCESS: It is still very few mothers in Kenya who have access to this greatb innovation. The infant packs are not available in the very remote parts of the country where most mothers still deliver at home.
    2. HOME DELIVERY BY TBAs: The practice of mothers delivering at home under the sub-standard ad hoc care of the Traditional Birth Attendants is still rampant. This works heavily against this, and other PMTCT mitigations because of mothers not being available for programmed, controlled modern anntenatal, postnatal and delivery services. One possible solution would be to extend and increase access of postnatal, antenatal and delivery services to the rural and nomad communities, incorporate and educate TBAs in the campaigns and step up public education initiatives that will enlighten the public, more so the mothers on the benefits and availability of PMTCT services.

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