Apr 17, 2013

mothers2mothers Report (January-March 2013)

Why We Do What We Do

One of the greatest rewards at mothers2mothers (m2m) is seeing a mother and baby who are healthy and excited about the future because of the support and information they received from our programme.  We met Delisile Dlamini, her husband and 14-month-old daughter earlier this month at their small house in Manzini, Swaziland. Her story shows how Mentor Mothers are changing the lives of mothers and families throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Watch a video from one of our moms!

Country Focus: Swaziland's Unexpected Success Tackling Paediatric HIV:

Khanyisile Mavimbela (pictured on right) took her first HIV test when she was in her late twenties, unmarried and pregnant. Shocked when the results came back positive, she worried she would infect her baby with the virus. She felt scared and alone, and didn’t know where to turn for help.

Khanyisile’s story is all too common in Swaziland, a small landlocked kingdom nestled next to the Lumbombo Mountains and bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. The country’s unfortunate claim to fame is that it has the highest rate of HIV in the world. Read More

m2m Launches Exciting New Regional Project with USAID

mothers2mothers (m2m) has launched a new regional project with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that has the potential of bringing our lifesaving peer education and support services to countries throughout Southern and Eastern Africa, the region hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The project, called Mentor Mothers Reducing Infections through Support and Education (RISE), is the first regional partnership between m2m and USAID. Read More

Jan 22, 2013

mothers2mothers Report (October-December 2012)

The 2012 holiday season and start to 2013 were quite busy here at m2m, including a huge development in m2m Kenya.  Read on for exciting m2m updates!

Great m2m news in Kenya:  m2m is proud to share an exciting milestone for our organization – the release of national guidelines for the Kenya Mentor Mother Program (KMMP) that will place Mentor Mothers at health centers throughout Kenya in order to provide many more HIV-positive pregnant women and new mothers with lifesaving information and support.  The KMMP is modeled in large part on m2m’s Mentor Mother program, and is the first program that m2m has helped develop to integrate Mentor Mothers into a national healthcare system.  Read the KMMP Guidelines here

A Mother’s story from Kenya Mentor Mothers:

As part of a story writing workshop organized by USAID in Kenya, m2m Program Assistant and former Site Coordinator, Emily Owino, wrote an inspiring piece about what happened when pregnant Naomi Joy, a counselor who works with commercial sex workers, found out something she thought would never happen to her—that she was HIV positive.  The story of how Joy kept her baby HIV-free highlights the importance and great potential of Kenya’s national campaign to stop new HIV infections among children by 2015, and keep their mothers alive, which was launched by Kenyan Minister for Public Health and Sanitation, Beth Mugo. Read the moving story in its entirety on Kenya’s USAID site

m2m mother sends holiday greetings:  This 2012 holiday season, mothers2mothers transported supporters through video to the township of Khayelitsha, outside Cape Town, by introducing extraordinary Mentor Mother, Nozi Samela.  In three daily installments, Nozi shared her story of what happened after she was diagnosed HIV positive while pregnant, how she faced unimaginable heartbreak in the years that followed, and what restored her hope for the future.

See all three segments of Nozi’s story on youtube, or by clicking here.

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Oct 30, 2012

mothers2mothers Report (July-September 2012)

It’s been a busy three months at mothers2mothers with a change in leadership, global health activities tied to the opening of the UN General Assembly and the International AIDS Conference in DC.  Following are some of the highlights:

m2m welcomed a new CEO:  On October 1st, mothers2mothers welcomed Frank Beadle de Palomo as our new Chief Executive Officer.  Frank is an accomplished and innovative public health leader with more than 26 years of experience in the global health community that include significant achievements in HIV prevention, as well as domestic and global care, research and advocacy programs.   He shares mothers2mothers’ vision for healthy mothers and children and we know he will be an exceptional champion for the women we serve.  Read more information on Frank and his background here.

m2m participated in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) global health week:  While world leaders gathered at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in September, Johnson & Johnson co-hosted a luncheon on the increasingly critical role that frontline healthcare workers are playing in the overburdened health systems of the world’s poorest countries. As our Co-Founder and International Director Robin Smalley said at the luncheon, mothers2mothers is training and employing what we think is the ultimate frontline healthcare worker… mothers.

In a blog on the Huffington Post, coinciding with the opening of the UNGA, Robin wrote about how our Mentor Mothers, who themselves are living with HIV, are at the heart of our efforts to eliminate pediatric AIDS by providing lifesaving information and support to HIV positive pregnant women to have healthy babies and stay healthy to raise them. Read Robin’s blog here.

m2m joins with EGPAF in support of WHO’s Option B+:  During the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC at the end of July, m2m teamed up with the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation in support of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Option B+.  WHO recently encouraged countries to consider accelerating the adoption of one of two options for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) that both include added benefits for and emphasis on the health of mothers. Option B includes the use of triple-drug therapy for the mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and Option B+ continues that drug regimen for the mother’s lifetime.

There is growing consensus that Option B+ represents an evolving best standard for protecting both mother and child from the effects of HIV. m2m announced it will support country efforts to implement Option B+ by using our simple and effective Mentor Mother model to promote enrollment and retention in care. Because m2m’s Mentor Mothers provide additional human resources – educating and supporting mothers as they learn to understand, accept, and adhere to lifelong treatment regimens – we can further ease the pressure this new protocol might cause already strained health systems. m2m is prepared to use its trusted presence in communities to ensure that all women, especially those not currently accessing care, are able to benefit from Option B+.   Read the full statement here.

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