mothers2mothers is a charitable organisation that works in several sub-Saharan African countries. The mission of the charity is to reduce and then eliminate incidences of HIV transmission from mothers to their babies during pregnancy, birth and feeding. mothers2mothers, or m2m, adopts an innovative mentorship programme which teaches local women to act as healthcare professionals.
Among enrolled clients of the m2m programme, incidences of mother to child HIV transmission had been virtually eliminated, with just 1.6% of babies affected. This statistic comes from the 2016 annual m2m report and is based on mothers who have been enrolled in the programme for three consecutive years. mothers2mothers is a charitable association of Joey Horn. You can find out what a difference every donation makes within the embedded PDF document.
mothers2mothers works to empower women within the communities where they live. The programme trains eligible local women who are living with HIV, giving them the skills and knowledge to help not only themselves but other women in the community. In many African communities, one of the biggest obstacles for women infected with HIV is the associated stigma. By having local women at the forefront of healthcare, this stigma can be alleviated and support can be offered to the women. Mentor Mothers, as they are called, work within their own communities to provide essential healthcare, and to pass on knowledge of how women can protect their babies from having HIV transmitted to them. The women can use their social and cultural expertise along with their trained skills to provide ongoing support by forging trusted relationships.
While many positive steps have and are being taken towards eliminating mother to child HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, the fact remains that many health centres simply don’t have enough staff. Inexpensive and effective methods of prevention are available, but nurses and doctors often have only a few minutes in which to discuss these with each patient, leaving many women ignorant of the tests, drugs and measures that can help prevent transmission. The prevalent stigma associated with women who are HIV-positive is another factor that makes it difficult for those women to access the care and support they require.
The mission of mothers2mothers revolves around the elimination of paediatric AIDS. However, there is far more to it than just that. The programme works to promote gender equality through breaking down and removing stigma, and through empowering women and creating employment for women. This in turn supports livelihood development for entire communities, having a positive impact on women, men and children. As well as combatting HIV transmission, the programme facilitates wider access to general family planning and reproductive health medical care and support. Newborns, babies and older children benefit from developments and advances in health care and education right through to adolescence.
As a charitable organisation, mothers2mothers relies on donations and fundraising from the public. Get involved with an organised event, host your own fundraiser or sign up for the Global Giving Circle and help make a difference to thousands of women and children. You can also access a free DIY fundraising pack to help you come up with ideas.