· NGO strikes strategic partnership with Mozambican Health Ministry to bolster efforts to eliminate paediatric AIDS.
· Initial $6m funding provided by PEPFAR through CDC and USAID, with further scale up anticipated.
Maputo, January 31, 2018 – Africa-based NGO mothers2mothers (m2m) is joining global efforts against paediatric AIDS in Mozambique, bringing the number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa where the organisation operates to eight.
In partnership with Mozambique’s Ministry of Health (MOH), m2m will launch its Mentor Mother Model—through which HIV-positive women will help pregnant and breastfeeding women to prevent transmission of the HIV virus to their children—nationwide. m2m’s work will be conducted through a combination of direct service provision at the Health Facilities, partnerships with other NGOs, and the provision of technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and NGOs.
$6m in funding for an initial two year period is being provided by the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), administered through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). m2m will partner with various international and local implementing partners, including Jhpiego, a non-profit health organisation affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA).
Latest estimates suggest that around one in eight Mozambicans is living with HIV, making it one of the countries worst affected by the epidemic. Around 130,000 pregnant women are in need of antiretrovirals in the country (Spectrum 2017).* As part of the national strategy to combat HIV, Mozambique has operated Maes para Maes (MpM), a community support programme for HIV-positive mothers which contains elements of m2m’s Mentor Mother Model, since 2010. However, rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV have remained stubbornly high. As a result, PEPFAR and the MOH are collaborating to revitalise the MpM strategy, and m2m is proud to have been asked to help contribute to the success of this objective.
“mothers2mothers has a long track record of working as a trusted partner to governments and NGOs to end paediatric AIDS. We have helped to virtually eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV among our clients for the past three years, with an average transmission rate of just 1.6% in 2016,” said Frank Beadle de Palomo, President and CEO of m2m. “We have achieved this by empowering women as Mentor Mothers, developing a robust curriculum and training tools, as well as embedding rigorous monitoring and evaluation practices. We have seen our Mentor Mother Model become national policy in nations including South Africa and Kenya. Now, we look forward to sharing this knowledge and expertise with our colleagues in Mozambique to ensure the vision of an HIV-free generation becomes a reality,” he added.
In the first year, m2m expects to deliver direct services in 24 high-volume health facilities. m2m will also provide technical assistance at national and provincial levels to the MOH and other partners to improve the MpM curriculum, training, tools, structures, and policies. Other activities include developing a robust monitoring and evaluating (M&E) system for MpM at the national and local level, and providing strategic assistance to the MOH to roll out and implement a new prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) strategy. The m2m Mozambique team will be led by Ilda Kuleba, a public health professional with over a decade of experience spanning HIV and public health in both the public and private sectors. Recruitment of Mentor Mothers started in December of last year in Beira, Dondo, and Nhamatanda districts of Sofala Province, in Chimoio district of Manica province, and in Quelimane, Nicoadala, Namacurra and Mocuba districts in Zambezia Province. In the second year, m2m anticipates further expansion to support health facilities with high burden of vertical transmission.
mothers2mothers (m2m) is an international NGO founded in Cape Town, South Africa in 2001. m2m employs and trains HIV-positive women to deliver health services, advice, and support to women and their families at health facilities and in local communities. From an initial focus on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, m2m has expanded into five related areas to deliver benefits for women and their families at all stages of life. As well as a continued focus on HIV-prevention and education, m2m’s services now also include early childhood development, paediatric care and support, and adolescent mentoring. In 2016 alone, m2m and its partners enrolled almost two million new clients into care across seven African countries. Results show that m2m has virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV amongst its clients, and is making significant strides in expanding the scope and scale of its other services.
This press release is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)). The contents are the responsibility of mothers2mothers and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.