KIGALI, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda on Monday launched a national campaign to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of new HIV infections and keeping mothers alive.
The campaign, dubbed "Free to Shine Rwanda," seeks to increase awareness, strengthen ownership and accountability to end HIV/AIDS among children and keep mothers alive and healthy, according to the Rwandan ministry of health.
A launching event, in the Rwandan capital Kigali, attracted 2,500 people, including young mothers, youth, representatives from civil society organizations, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and government agencies.
Health minister Diane Gashumba told the event that the campaign focuses on mobilizing citizens, especially women of reproductive age, to access HIV prevention services to stop new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive.
"The campaign ensures that pregnant women access early antenatal care and receive prevention of mother-to-child transmission services at health facilities across the country," she added.
According to her, the "Free to Shine Rwanda" campaign targets zero new infections by 2020 and possible eradication of mother-to-child transmission by 2030.
In 2011, the minister said, Rwanda launched the national campaign for elimination of mother-to-child transmission, and the transmission rate has since dropped from 4.3 percent in 2011 to 1.5 percent this year.