Mothers2mothers is an Africa-based not-for-profit organisation that works in accordance with the global efforts to end paediatric AIDS and create healthy families and communities through training, employing and empowering HIV-positive mothers as frontline healthcare workers. The organisation was founded in 2001 and has managed to reach nearly 1.5 million HIV-positive mothers in nine sub-Saharan Africa with its scalable, high-impact peer approach.
Mothers2mothers started to operate in Malawi in 2008 and is their largest country programme. The organisation provides a full range of services that are family-centred, these services span from pregnancy and birth to adolescence in the country. The organisation is supported by a large and diverse donor base, the largest of which is the United States government funding through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The organisation’s presence in Malawi has expanded over the years due to its response to the country’s implementation of Option B+ which ensures that all HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women are eligible to be put on antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs regardless of their clinical stage. Since Malawi adopted Option B+, the percentage of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving ARVs has increased from 20% in 2009 to 64% in 2014.
The organisation works in direct response with the government’s strategy to reach everyone with HIV testing and treatment services and mothers2mothers Malawi is the first country that recruits HIV-positive men as expert client as part of their family-centred approach. The organisation currently has 270 male and female expert clients that are working in 98 clinics in order to support other men in their community to access health services in order to stay healthy and reduce their partner’s risk of infection.
Image taken from mothers2mothers Twitter profile
Mothers2mothers is the birthplace of the Community Mentor Mother (CMM) programme where Mentor Mothers work door-to-door in local communities, linking women and families to nearby health centres for medical care. The programme was created to enhance the need for retention and adherence support after Malawi became the first country to recommend that all HIV-positive pregnant women and new mothers be placed on ARVs for life. The health education and support that is provided is essential as it provides help to women who have to cope with the shock and stress of learning that they are HIV positive and being put on lifelong treatment. Mentor Mothers continue to provide support to the women in the years that follow the HIV-positive diagnosis in order to help these women stay on treatment and minimize the risk of transmission as well as to continue making healthy choices for their families.
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