BY MARCIA LEONE
It still baffles me that simply because where you are lucky or unlucky enough to be born determines the type of life you get to live. The food you eat, the water you drink and the healthcare you receive. Basic human rights.
Since I began NSM, one of my objectives was to build a platform that I could use for good. I have supported many causes here and there, but the time has come for me to partner with a charity that resonates with me as a Mother- and that has lead me to mothers2mothers
mothers2mothers (m2m) believes in the power of mothers to end paediatric AIDS. They train, employ, and empower mothers living with HIV to bring health and hope to other mothers, their families, and communities.
While tremendous progress has been made over the last decade to eliminate paediatric AIDS, more than 400 babies are still infected with HIV globally every day. EVERY DAY. About 75% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, and most acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
It’s unacceptable… it’s tragic… because it’s almost entirely preventable.
Effective and inexpensive medical interventions are available that can keep mothers and babies healthy. Without these interventions, up to 40% of infants born to HIV-positive mothers will contract the virus. With treatment, that number can be reduced to 2%.
However, most health centres in sub-Saharan Africa are severely understaffed which leaves doctors and nurses with only minutes to give a pregnant woman her HIV diagnosis and explain all of the drugs and tests she must adhere to in order to keep herself healthy and protect her baby from HIV. The stigma of HIV that is prevalent in many African communities causes women to live in fear, making it difficult for them to get the care they need.
mothers2mothers is changing that.
Their Mentor Mother Model empowers mothers living with HIV, through education and employment, as role models to help other women access essential services and medical care.
Through this Mentor Mother Model, they work with governments, local partners, and communities to eliminate HIV infections in children, reduce maternal and child mortality, improve the health of women, their partners, and families while promoting gender equality and supporting livelihood development for families and communities.
In its 15 years of operation the m2m program has virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV
But the efforts don’t stop there. It’s so important for the work to continue to break the cycle as the first HIV-free babies that came through the programme 15 years ago, are now becoming sexually active and at risk of contracting HIV and passing onto their own children. Each month I will be sharing personal accounts from mothers- just like you and me- who are; because of where they happen to live, faced with unimaginable health concerns for themselves and their babies.
Its easy to feel like the problem is so big and removed from our lives, but even as individuals WE CAN make a difference. Just $10 could help one HIV-positive mother protect her baby from HIV.
Learn more and see how you can help HERE.