mothers2mothers, An Organization Empowering Sick Moms If Africa
Each year, more babies are born with HIV in a single African clinic than in the U.S., U.K. and Europe combined, despite the fact that preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of the virus is easy and inexpensive. Two-thirds of HIV-positive pregnant women in the developing world do not receive any of the medications that prevent HIV transmission to their infants. The situation is further compounded by the lack of complementary healthcare services for women and children and pervasive social stigma, in which extreme discrimination and violence can accompany a positive diagnosis. One innovative, award-winning program is tackling this issue head-on – mothers2mothers.
A novel approach offering a secure, compassionate environment, m2m’s HIV-positive “Mentor Mothers” counsel pregnant women with HIV about medications, nutrition and formula feeding, and dealing with stigma – helping them protect their babies and empowering them to share their newfound knowledge and optimism. Mentor Mothers are rigorously trained and are paid for their services, thereby cementing their roles as vital members of the health care team. Additionally, they become financially independent, are seen as role models in their communities and combat stigma by example. The result: almost all m2m babies are HIV-negative; the mothers access life-saving medications; and fewer children are left orphaned.
mothers2mothers Record of Success in 2007 was published by the Population Council’s Horizon Project, an international NGO and research organization, and Health Systems Trust, an independent South African research organization, showing:
Increased numbers of women and infants receiving medications to prevent transmission.
Improvement of women’s knowledge about HIV/AIDS, transmission, safer sex practices and testing.
Growth in the number of women getting tested for HIV – more than 90 percent of m2m mothers are tested compared with a 10 percent national average.
Decrease in the number of babies born with HIV – nearly 100% percent of m2m babies are born HIV-negative.
If you are still looking for an original Mother’s day gift, this might the for you: The nonprofit, mothers2mothers, is honoring Mother’s Day by giving anyone who donates $50 or more both a special Mother’s Day card as well as a music video on DVD created by 17-year old rising star Rachel Eskenazi-Gold entitled “Save An Angel,” created in tribute to mothers2mothers moms. (This song can also be downloaded at iTunes.com.)