Partnership objectives

Eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding by providing education and support to local mothers living with HIV.

mothers2mothers trains, employs, and empowers 1,500 local Mentor Mothers, as frontline healthcare workers in 8 sub-Saharan African countries mothers2mothers trains, employs, and empowers 1,500 local Mentor Mothers, as frontline healthcare workers in 8 sub-Saharan African countries Copyright mothers2mothers

What are the health needs and challenges?

While tremendous progress has been made over the last decade to eliminate paediatric AIDS, nearly 7,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV each week and more than 400 babies are still infected with HIV each day around the world, most of them living in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of them acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Effective medical interventions are available, but most health centres are severely understaffed to raise sufficient awareness among mothers of treatments needed to protect their babies. 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.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

mothers2mothers trains, employs, and empowers 1,500 local mothers living with HIV, called Mentor Mothers, as frontline healthcare workers within communities and in healthcare centres, in 8 sub-Saharan African countries. In one-on-one and group sessions, Mentor Mothers provide essential health education and support to women on how they can protect their babies from HIV infection, and keep themselves healthy. Their intimate understanding of the social and cultural challenges of living with HIV gives them a unique ability to form trusted relationships with other women.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

m2m's 2016 Annual Evaluation shows that the programme has virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV for three years in a row, with an average transmission rate of 1.6%. In 2016 alone, m2m enrolled nearly 2 million new clients and helped to prevent HIV infection in over 700,000 children. m2m also has a positive impact on the Mentor Mothers themselves. The employment enables them to gain financial security. They also become role models in health centres and their communities, thereby reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Johnson & Johnson

Partner(s) Comic Relief, Denise Coates Foundation, Department for International Development (DFID), Department of Health Mpumalanga, Elton John AIDS Foundation, JSI Research & Training Institute, MAC AIDS Fund, Partners in Hope, US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases, Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Children's Health, HIV/AIDS, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children, Mothers, Women

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 8

Country(ies) Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia

Start Date 2001

More information mothers2mothers

Anticipated completion date Ongoing