The goal of the Elimination Initiative is: “To eliminate vertical transmission of HIV and Syphilis in all countries and territories in the Caribbean by the year 2015”. This is measured by the following impact indicators:
- Percentage of infants born to HIV infected mothers who are infected is ≤ 2%
- Incidence of MTCT of HIV is ≤ 0.3 cases per 1000 live births
- Incidence of congenital syphilis is ≤ 0.5 cases per 1000 live births
The qualifying requirements for achieving elimination status are:
- Evidence of achievement of the elimination targets for at least three (3) consecutive years.
- Existence of an adequate surveillance system capable to detect all cases of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis, and capture service delivery and outcome data from the public and private sector.
- Documented evidence of the essential programmatic capacity to sustain the elimination targets and objectives
The success in the current pMTCT programme though evident in Jamaica, needs to meet all structural and data requirements. To this end the National HIV/STI programme through the support of international and local partners conducted an assessment of pMTCT Programme to document the gains and challenges within the programme and thereafter developed practical steps in achieving and sustaining elimination status. A steering committee, which is already in place to provide technical support to eMTCT, continues to provide technical guidance to the process.
The five main objectives that are being implemented under the project are:
(1) Support of integration of human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) programmes;
(2) Building and /or sustaining laboratory capacity and a supportive environment (for example, medicines, vaccines, technology) for early detection, clinical management and patient monitoring for HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and opportunistic infections (OIs) to support the MNCH programme;
(3) Support for the integration of HIV/STI and sexual reproductive health (SRH) programmes and services;
(4) Capacity strengthening of strategic information and knowledge management of HIV and other STI in maternal, neonatal and child health; and
(5) Capacity strengthening for elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and other STIs.
The four pronged approach to elimination: