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Help create an HIV-free future in Malawi

by mothers2mothers
Help create an HIV-free future in Malawi
Help create an HIV-free future in Malawi
Help create an HIV-free future in Malawi
Help create an HIV-free future in Malawi
Jun 2, 2021

Shining a Light on m2m's Family-Centred Approach

Dorothy Kachere, Mentor Mother in Mulanje, Malawi
Dorothy Kachere, Mentor Mother in Mulanje, Malawi

Focusing on the health of all family members—in particular women, children, and adolescents who are highly vulnerable to HIV and other health issues—is critical to reaching the global goals of achieving good health and well-being for all and an end of HIV/AIDS.

The 1,700 women employed by m2m as frontline health workers, called Mentor Mothers—like Dorothy Kachere in Mulanje, Malawi—not only focus on their client’s health, but also ensure that everyone in their client’s family is accessing the vital health services they need.

This was the case with Dorothy’s client, Mary (not her real name), who came to the health centre as a pregnant teenager. Mary was scared of being judged and reprimanded so she sought out an “approachable person’’ at the clinic to talk with, and along came Dorothy.

When Dorothy followed up with Mary at her home, she noticed a young boy of school age, who Dorothy identified as her seven-year-old brother, Dalitso, who was born disabled and couldn’t walk or talk.

Dorothy talked to the family about how they could provide more support to Dalitso. She introduced Dalitso and the family to play therapy and encouraged them to communicate with and sing for Dalitso consistently. She also organised play sessions with other mothers of disabled children at the health centre, and referred him for physiotherapy and early childhood development (ECD) services. Watching Dalitso’s improvement from the first time she met him to the lively 8-year-old boy he is today is one of Dorothy’s proudest moments.

“He can now communicate with some non-verbal cues and signs, he can express his emotions with smiles and little murmurs, and is even showing some independence with wanting to feed himself even though he can’t do that yet. Even though Mary was my reason for visiting the home, all the family members are now my clients. Mary has a healthy HIV-negative baby girl and Dalitso’s mom understands the importance of ECD and how to care for a disabled child,” Dorothy said.

It is success stories like Dalitso’s that highlight the importance of m2m’s work to improve the health and well-being of all members of a family. To that end, m2m has evolved our tried and tested peer-based model to encompass a family-centred approach that tackles a range of health-related challenges at all stages of life, from pregnancy, birth, childhood, adolescents, and beyond. We provide support and services to prevent new HIV infections and ensure people living with HIV access treatment and remain healthy. We also focus on related health challenges—including TB, maternal and child mortality, and early childhood development—while delivering women’s social and economic empowerment.  We want to make healthy, thriving families communities the new normal. In this way, we are creating an HIV-free generation.

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mothers2mothers

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @m2mtweets
Project Leader:
Dave Brandwood
Los Angeles, CA United States
$540 raised of $5,000 goal
 
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