Patience Hlengiwe Kweyama, site coordinator with mothers2mothers, recently wrote a post, HIV Positive Mothers Helping HIV Positive Mothers, for the Huffington Post’s Global Motherhood blog that describes the work of mothers2mothers as well as her role within the organization.
From the post:
The mothers2mothers model is so simple and that’s why it works so well. We educate, support, and empower mothers living with HIV to keep themselves and their children healthy. Johnson & Johnson partners with mothers2mothers to support the work that I and many other mentor mothers do in South Africa.
For an HIV-positive pregnant woman everything seems so complicated — but m2m has come up with a simple solution. Pregnant women living with HIV are educated and informed in both groups and one-on-one sessions about how to keep themselves healthy and what steps they can take to have a healthy HIV free baby. The education is done by Mentor Mothers like myself, who have participated in the program and are trained as health educators and role models. Mentor Mothers motivate pregnant women with HIV to adhere to their medicines. We provide a network of support for all mothers in the community. Challenges such as stigma and health worker shortages are addressed as well. Mentor Mothers are powerful agents against the stigma of HIV that causes women to live in fear and prevents them from seeking care. Mentor Mothers work alongside doctors and nurses, filling critical gaps in understaffed health centers and clinics.
Read the full post here.