About the Mentor Mothers Programme
The mentor mothers’ approach was adopted by PLAEP in 2018 to strengthen community-facility linkages in scaling up the uptake of antenatal care for pregnant women and adolescents. The programme aims at preventing HIV infections among women of reproductive age (15–49 years), preventing unwanted pregnancies among women living with HIV, and providing women living with HIV access to lifelong ART to maintain their health and prevent transmission during pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding. The programme recruits a cohort of Community based champions between the ages of 19 and 49 who are living with HIV and have at least two years’ experience in the PMTCT programme, as mentor mothers. The mentor mothers have accepted their HIV status and willing to share their experience living with HIV with other pregnant women living with HIV. The mentor mothers undergo basic training in PMTCT, HIV treatment and care to improve enhance their communication skills and job savvy. After their training, the mentor mothers roll out community outreach activities to stimulate demand for maternal and newborn health care services. The project has been well integrated into the primary health care system through Ipusukilo clinic, a government health facility that PLAEP has partnered with.
Our achievements over the last 4 years include:
⦁ Over 1,300 pregnant women reached with key information on PMTCT and successfully enrolled in Antenatal Care.
⦁ 1,352 pregnant women counseled and tested for HIV and received their results.
⦁ 175 pregnant women initiated on lifelong Ante Retroviral Treatment (ART), 66 of these have attained viral suppression.
⦁ 371 pregnant women were reported to have been initiated in ANC in the first trimester of pregnancy. 638 in the second trimester and 343 in the third trimester.
⦁ Increased male involvement in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). 175 pregnant women accessed ANC with their partners, representing a 25.7% increase from the baseline. Only 130 women were accompanied to ANC in the last 2 years before the project started.
⦁ 1028 births recorded since June 2018, out of which 1,012 babies were delivered at a health facility. 892 DBS samples were collected, and we have reported no positive result so far.
⦁ Implementation of mother baby pair clinics where mothers and exposed babies are seen simultaneously has served to increase uptake of EID.
⦁ Improved retention of women and their infants in care. The project recorded no case of loss to follow up. The mentor mothers’ home visits greatly contributed to this achievement.