Scoping Review of the Literature on the Use of PMTCT in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Joyce Kamanzi
  • Magdalena Richter


Background: The prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program, which was initiated by WHO in 2000 (WHO, 2007), can virtually eliminate Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection among children. However, despite the efforts and emphasis on the PMTCT program, mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV continues to be high, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Our aim was to conduct a scoping review to examine the literature on use of the PMTCT program.

Methods and Analysis: A scoping review framework, proposed by Arksey and O’Malley (2005), was used to guide the study. A comprehensive literature search was performed in the following electronic databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, Global Health, and Dissertations & Theses Global. The primary research articles published in peer-reviewed journals and grey literature addressing our research question was included. Two independent reviewers conducted title, abstract, and full text screening. Data analysis included a thematic content analysis.

Summary: Our findings will be useful to PMTCT implementers, policy makers, and researchers working in the HIV/PMTCT program. The findings will contribute to strengthening the PMTCT program in SSA by identifying knowledge gaps and providing direction for further research. The intention of this scoping review is to build and contribute to a body of literature on the use of the PMTCT Program.