Today, the Republic of Maldives became the second country in the Southeast Asia Region- and the 12th country in the world- to be certified by WHO to have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

Vice President Faisal Naseem accepted the Certificate of Recognition for the Elimination of Mother-to-Child-Transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and Syphilis on behalf of the Maldives. The certification was handed over at the ceremony held this morning at Hotel Jen by the WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh.

This is the fourth certification of elimination the country has achieved, the previous being malaria, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and measles. In addition, as a region, Maldives has also achieved the elimination of polio and neonatal tetanus.

During the certification ceremony, Vice President stated that at this time of success we should all be determined to make the extra effort to uphold the momentum of progress. He further stated that the government dedicates a large segment of the national budget on the health sector and emphasized the administration's high priority on improving the health sector in the country.