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Open Access Debate

To what extent could performance-based schemes help increase the effectiveness of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programs in resource-limited settings? a summary of the published evidence

Hapsatou Touré1*, Martine Audibert2 and François Dabis1

Author Affiliations

1 INSERM U897, Institut de Santé Publique d'Épidémiologie et de Développement (ISPED), Université Victor Segalen, 146 Rue Léo Saignat, 33000, Bordeaux, France

2 CNRS, Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International (CERDI), Université d'Auvergne, 65 Boulevard François Mitterrand, 63000, Clermont-Ferrand, France

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:702  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-702

Published: 16 November 2010



In resource-limited settings, HIV/AIDS remains a serious threat to the social and physical well-being of women of childbearing age, pregnant women, mothers and infants.


In sub-Saharan African countries with high prevalence rates, pediatric HIV/AIDS acquired through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) can in largely be prevented by using well-established biomedical interventions. Logistical and socio-cultural barriers continue, however, to undermine the successful prevention of MTCT (PMTCT). In this paper, we review reports on maternal, neonatal and child health, as well as HIV care and treatment services that look at program incentives.


These studies suggest that comprehensive PMTCT strategies aiming to maximize health-worker motivation in developing countries must involve a mix of both financial and non-financial incentives. The establishment of robust ethical and regulatory standards in public-sector HIV care centers could reduce barriers to PMTCT service provision in sub-Saharan Africa and help them in achieving universal PMTCT targets.