Women Who Breastfeed Other Women’s Children

Nairobi, February 8th 2012 – Before the PMTC project was introduced slightly over a decade ago, it was estimated that close to 500,000 new HIV infections occurred in infants, most of them as a result of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) during pregnancy, at the time of delivery or through breastfeeding. Several medical interventions have greatly helped reduce MTCT and it is planned that by 2015, Kenya will have achieved zero cases of MTCT.

There are a few trends which leave infants susceptible to HIV infection. First is the domestic workers and secondly, women who breastfeed other women’s children (wet-nurse) or those who arrange that their infants are breastfed by other women.

Employers would be invading domestic workers’ privacy if they asked them to take a test or to reveal their HIV status upon employment. In that case what should parents do? In the case of wet-nurses, what are the risks?

Next week, Women eNews Kenya brings you a story of Linda Oyier – a mother of 3 whose children have always been breastfed by a wet nurse.

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