10 April 2014 Volume :2 Issue :18

Lesotho-Based Study by Masters Graduate Shows Promising Results for HIV Testing

Lesotho-Based Study by Masters Graduate Shows Promising Results for HIV Testing
Dr Stephen Olorunfemi graduated with a Master’s in Public Health at UKZN.

Lesotho was used as the base for a case study to analyse the response of people regarding the impact of HIV among pregnant women and what women did to protect themselves and young children from contracting HIV.

The research was done by Masters of Public Health graduate, Dr Stephen Olorunfemi, for  his Masters dissertation titled: “Factors Influencing the Uptake of Voluntary Counselling and Testing in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission for the Human Immune Deficiency Virus among Antenatal Clinics Attendees in Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Maseru”.

‘With HIV/AIDS currently being a major public health problem in Lesotho and with mother to child transmissions being responsible for 95% of childhood HIV infections, voluntary counselling and testing in Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission has an important role to play in Lesotho’s response to the HIV epidemic among women of childbearing age. In fact, the cornerstone of a successful Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission intervention programme is to achieve a high rate of HIV testing among pregnant women,’ said Olorunfemi.

‘This is just the beginning of my research work as I am in my second stage of research to get a good understanding in the field which will enable me to contribute to the society and community as a whole after a good background for research. At present, this is my passion. After the thorough research background which I obtained from UKZN, the importance of good research has been imbedded in me.

Olorunfemi, a Medical doctor (MBCHB) with his Diploma in HIV from the South Africa College of Medicine, has worked at the Tsepong Hospital in Lesotho (PPIP), one of the largest hospitals in Maseru managed by NETCARE group. He obtained his Occupation Health and Safety certificate and Operation Management certificate from the University of Cape Town.

He is currently working in the Lesotho community as a doctor and working on his Master’s in Epidemiology through Stellenbosch University. He hopes to pursue his PhD in the near future.

Olorunfemi is also involved in raising HIV awareness among university undergraduates and has been a Clinical co-ordinator involved in HIV/TB management.

-        Zakia Jeewa

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