One percent of the pregnant women in the world are HIV-positive. Out of that one percent, ninety-five percent of pregnant HIV-positive women are living in Sub-Saharan Africa. The transmission of HIV from mother to child can absolutely be prevented, but even so, nearly a quarter of these children are born with the virus.
There are a disproportionate number of doctors in relation to HIV-positive patients in Sub-Saharan Africa, and there are even less nurses than doctors. According to Mothers2Mothers, nurses on average get less than one minute with each patient, hardly enough time to perform tests much less properly explain medical treatment and the necessary lifestyle changes.
This is where Mothers2Mothers steps in. Mothers2Mothers is combating HIV transmission across 8 African countries through education and support from staff mentors who are HIV-positive mothers. The Mothers2Mothers mentors teach other HIV-positive women about alternatives to breast feeding, safe sex practices, and keeping themselves healthy. By surrounding HIV-positive women with a strong support group, they are more willing to tell their families and take the advice of women who understand what they are going through. As one mother puts it, “When people are crying, you just sit down and say, ‘Sister, don’t cry. You’re not alone. I’m here.’” Additionally, the program’s mentors get a steady income and are able to support their families financially, a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Tags: Africa, AIDS, children, collaboration, community empowerment, education, empowerment, girls, grassroots, healthcare, HIV, HIV transmission, human rights, mothers, Mothers2Mothers, philanthropy, poverty, social change, social entrepreneur, solutions, South Africa, women