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When It Comes To Fighting AIDS, Mother Knows Best

When It Comes To Fighting AIDS, Mother Knows Best

In the United States and Europe, every day one child is born with HIV.  In Africa, every day 1,000 children are born with HIV.  mothers2mothers is changing that.

mothers2mothers (m2m), an Aid for Africa member,  was born in a clinic in South Africa in 2001.  At this clinic, a HIV-positive woman explained to another young woman with HIV how not to infect her unborn child with the virus. This first “mentor mother” was able to succeed where medical practitioners had failed.  Mentor mothers—women who are recruited, trained, employed and integrated into health care systems—are changing the face of AIDS in Africa. In the last 11 years, m2m’s model, which is being replicated in nine countries in Sub Saharan Africa, has helped reduce the number of babies born with HIV by hundreds of thousands.

This grassroots approach championed by m2m is now scaling up to the national level.  In Kenya, m2m is working with the Kenyan Ministry of Health to incorporate m2m’s approach into their national health program.

According to Nicole Sijenyi Fulton, m2m’s country representative for Kenya, “we estimate that between 80,000 and 100,000 HIV-positive women are pregnant every year in Kenya.  Our goal is to incorporate m2m’s approach into some 4,000 clinics, targeting 500 clinics that serve half of the HIV-positive pregnant woman immediately.”

Fulton noted that when governments are willing to work to incorporate effective grassroots efforts into national programs, they can be expanded to help thousands more.   She said that 22 countries, mostly in Africa, have made the commitment to do the same. But for now, many eyes are turned towards Kenya as a model.

In the meantime, m2m continues to build its grassroots network. With 22 million people living with HIV in Sub Saharan Africa, there is still much to do.

 

Related Stories:

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Somalia Famine: A History That Cannot Be Allowed to Repeat Itself

The Cradle Project: Remembering Children Orphaned by AIDS

 

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some of the best people we know are doing it

43 comments

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4:32PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

moms often know best

5:41AM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Thanks you.

5:57PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

thanks

1:14PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

That's a great program! Nothing better than a real example and a good mentorship :)

7:40AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

M2M also needs to educate women on techniques to avoid exploitation/ sexual exploitation that is often typical among some African tribes. When women are bought, sold, traded and used as sex objects, multiple partners accelerate the HIV/ Aids infection rates.

4:45AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

Stands to reason she's more likely to listen to another woman in exactly the same situation.
As long as it works, that's the main thing, because if baby's already on the way better to at least save it from being born with HIV.

8:30PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Much more owrk is still need, So glad they are having succes.

8:47AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

noted

8:33AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

The best prevention and virtually problem free is a CONDOM..Tell that to the Pope and his cronies pedophile Bishop and Priests. The same for the Pastors and Imams and Rabbis.

2:58AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Hvala.

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