Supporting an effective, sustainable model to assist pregnant women & new mothers living with HIV in Ghana
Despite rapid progress, HIV/AIDS remains a significant issue across East and Southern Africa. According to UNAIDS, more than 25 million people live with HIV in the region, and 63% of all new HIV infections in 2020 were among women and girls. African women are bearing the brunt of the epidemic, but they are also leading the fight back.
Founded in 2001, mothers2mothers (m2m) is an international non-profit that unlocks the power of women to eliminate pediatric AIDS and create healthy, thriving families and communities across sub-Saharan Africa. m2m employs nearly 1,900 women living with HIV, known as Mentor Mothers, across ten African countries to work as frontline health workers, delivering health services, education, and support to women and their families at health facilities and in local communities.
In 2020, Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE launched a three-year partnership with m2m to support the fearless, women living with HIV in Ghana who are delivering critical services to curb HIV/AIDS among young women and girls, fight stigma and ensure that all families thrive, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership builds on years of collaboration between m2m and Gucci, including CHIME FOR CHANGE Co-Founder Salma Hayek Pinault serving as a Global Patron of m2m.
The innovative and successful m2m Mentor Mother model is aimed at employing local women living with HIV to serve as mentors and resources to other women and families in their communities. Mentor Mothers educate other mothers on their health, their babies’ health, and on holistic development in early childhood, linking them to relevant healthcare and other services, and routine follow up, to ensure that they are retained in care.
Through its embedded community efforts that provide peer education and psychosocial support to pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV, the Mentor Mothers model has proven effective in helping women access medical interventions that significantly reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, supporting them to lead healthy lives.
In Ghana, m2m’s Mentor Mothers have been recognized as essential frontline health workers during the pandemic. Mentor Mothers in Ghana have been able to continue providing adapted, face-to-face services where possible, in accordance with the World Health Organization and national COVID-19 guidance, in addition to eServices to support remotely. In the first two years of our partnership, m2m in Ghana:
- Recruited, trained, and deployed 24 Mentor Mothers and Peer Mentors at health facilities and in local communities
- Reached over 14,600 vulnerable pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children with high quality, life-changing health services and psychosocial support
- Increased early diagnoses for infants and utilization of testing services
- Achieved remarkable levels of maternal and young children (aged 0-3 years) retention in care
- Enhanced male involvement in the program
- Improved caregiver and community knowledge for early childhood development
- Through Peer Mentors, provided peer-led, age-appropriate support and services to adolescents and young women ages 15-24
Gucci and CHIME are proud to support m2m through a partnership that is helping to expand an effective and sustainable model in global health. Together, we are united in a shared vision for a healthy future for women and girls. Learn more about m2m and support their work at m2m.org/donate.