mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to share the findings of our 2018 Evaluation,1 which shows improved quality and the continued impact of our work, particularly for our three core client groups—women, children, and adolescents. The results highlight how m2m is contributing to the Global Goals of ensuring good health for all and ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
“These 2018 Evaluation results demonstrate mothers2mothers’ ability to deliver quality services at scale that have a transformative impact on the lives of those we serve. We are particularly excited to see evidence of how our model keeps our clients in care and adherent to treatment—essential to tackling not only the HIV epidemic, but other critical health challenges to ensure the best possible outcomes,” said Frank Beadle de Palomo, m2m’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
In 2018, m2m employed 1,500 women living with HIV. These “Mentor Mothers” provided services directly to clients at 317 locations—including health centres and their surrounding communities—up from 237 in 2017. They enrolled 894,837 new clients, a 22.5% increase over the year before.
Contributing to the Elimination of HIV
Among the evaluation highlights—m2m is helping a new generation start life HIV-free. m2m has achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV for five years in a row. In 2018, HIV transmission among our enrolled clients was just 1.3%, well below the UN benchmark for virtual elimination of 5%.
To achieve this remarkable impact, m2m works to keep children and their mothers in care long after they are born to ensure there is no HIV transmission during the breastfeeding period. This is critical since 47% of paediatric HIV infections, globally, occur during breastfeeding, usually after a mother stops her antiretroviral treatment (ART).2 In 2018, 73% of our young clients had their final HIV test result at 18-24 months, a dramatic jump from 2017.
Improving the health of women, children, and adolescents
The evaluation shows that m2m is improving the health of women—a core client group—including those who are living with HIV. In 2018, m2m enrolled 186,488 women living with HIV (aged 20+), a 184% rise over 2017. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of our HIV-positive clients were enrolled in treatment, compared to a 93% benchmark in Eastern and Southern Africa.3
Furthermore, m2m retained these clients through their treatment journey. Ninety-four percent (94%) of clients who started ART for the first time were still alive and on treatment after a year, compared to a 75% retention rate in Eastern and Southern Africa.3 Ninety-nine percent (99%) of our clients adhered to their treatment more than 80% of the time, which is sufficient to achieve viral suppression. In fact, 94% were adherent more than 95% of the time. These results are important since effective treatment not only keeps those living with HIV alive and healthy, it also plays a critical role in preventing new infections.
For our HIV-negative clients, m2m played a major role in stopping new infections. Just 0.12% of the HIV-negative pregnant women supported by a Mentor Mother contracted HIV—a rate 30 times lower than the 2014 pan-African benchmark of 3.6%.4
m2m is also delivering benefits to children and helping entire families to thrive through integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) services. In 2018, we reached 30,775 children and caregivers with these services across Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. This programme will be scaled further in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa in 2019 and beyond.
With adolescent girls and young women bearing the brunt of the HIV epidemic in Eastern and Southern Africa, m2m has launched adolescent-focused services in Malawi, South Africa, and Uganda, and will be scaling these further. In 2018, we enrolled 289,500 adolescents and young adults (aged 10-24), an 18% rise over 2017.
For more information on our 2018 evaluation, please visit the impact summary.
If you would like to improve the health and wellbeing of even more women, children, and adolescents, please join us on our mission! You can help by spreading the word on social media, signing up to our newsletter to stay in touch, or by making a donation.
1 The findings are part of a yearly, in-depth performance review of our country programmes that is a cornerstone of our rigorous monitoring and evaluation process. The 2018 Evaluation focused on our eight countries of operation— Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.
3 Drake et al, ‘Incident HIV during Pregnancy and Postpartum and Risk of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis’ (2014) Published at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001608
4 UNAIDS Global HIV & AIDS statistics—2018 fact sheet