mothers2mothers is a multinational NGO located in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa with 703 sites and counting.
An education, psychosocial mentoring and support organization, m2m trains and employs HIV-positive mothers who have already gone through their program. These ‘Mentor Mothers’ then provide peer education and psychosocial support to HIV-positive pregnant women and new mothers, empowering them to access life-saving treatment for their babies and for themselves. The Mentor Mothers become an integral element of clinical prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) care.
The mothers2mothers program promotes empowerment and companionship, assists women in combating stigma within their families and communities, supports a mother’s adherence to medical treatment, and reduces the likelihood that her children will become AIDS orphans.
mothers2mothers has developed a unique model at the community level that is cost effective, easily replicable, scalable and adaptable to any culture.
Their Mission is to create an effective, sustainable model of care that provides education and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS. Their goals are to:
Prevent babies from contracting HIV through mother-to-child transmission
Keep mothers and babies living with HIV/AIDS alive and healthy by increasing their access to health-sustaining medical care
Empower mothers living with HIV/AIDS, enabling them to fight stigma in their communities and to live positive and productive lives
THE M2M MODEL
mothers2mothers offers an sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective solution to the challenge of providing PMTCT services in resource-limited settings. They do this by recruiting, training, and employing mothers living with HIV who have personally received PMTCT care. These women, Mentor Mothers, work side-by-side with doctors and nurses in health care facilities, and assume responsibility for ensuring that patients understand, accept, and adhere to interventions that are prescribed. m2m has introduced a new tier of paid, professionalized health care providers – drawn from, trained in and serving on behalf of local communities – closing gaps in health care delivery. This constitutes a paradigm shift in thinking about how effective health care services can be delivered.
The results are clear. Their experience demonstrates that, when mothers are involved in mentoring other HIV-positive women, both mothers and babies are more likely to receive and take their medication. In addition, they are more likely to undergo the tests to determine if they are eligible for life-sustaining anti-retroviral treatment and to get their babies tested for HIV. As peer educators, Mentor Mothers become role models in their communities, all while earning a salary and gaining valuable work experience. It is a model that both saves lives and empowers women.
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