Latest News

Tackling health inequalities to leave no one behind

27 June 2019

mothers2mothers (m2m) was delighted to join long-time supporter Johnson & Johnson (J&J) at the European Development Days 2019—a two-day conference in Brussels, Belgium, that addressed global inequalities with the goal of creating a world that leaves nobody behind. With much of our work aimed at tackling inequalities in accessing healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, m2m highlighted the significant strides we have made at the community level in bridging those gaps by employing women living with HIV as community health workers (CHWs).

The panellists at the European Development Days 2019

m2m’s Global Development & Strategic Engagement Director Emma France joined representatives from J&J, the European Commission, Amref Health Africa, Living Goods, and the Financing Alliance for Health for a cross-sector conversation on the role of CHWs in achieving health for all by 2030. Kicking off the session, Ben Davies, J&J’s Global Community Impact Lead for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), highlighted a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) which found that an estimated one third of the necessary health sector investments will need to be invested in the health workforce to achieve better health by 2030: “There is no health without people delivering it.”

According to the WHO, at least half of the world’s population still does not have full access to essential health services. In sub-Saharan Africa, one of the contributing factors is a shortage of 4.2M health workers, which is expected to rise to 6.1M by 2030, leaving many women and families struggling to access vital lifesaving medical care. As the bridge between the community and primary health systems, CHWs, such as m2m Mentor Mothers are playing a vital role in changing the tide.

Ben Davies from Johnson&Johnson introducing the panel discussion

The panellists shared why CHWs are effective in improving access to preventive care. Henriette Geiger, the Director of the People and Peace Directorate at the European Commission, explained: “We know how efficient it is to have basic health messages delivered to the community by someone from the community, especially when it comes to reaching young girls and women.” And all the panellists were clear that health workers represent an essential link between health facilities and communities—they advance UHC by taking health services to hard-to-reach individuals and communities, at a convenient time and place, and also by following up and supporting those who have been seen at a health facility to stay on treatment. 

Emma France talked about how CHWs have also become a crucial resource and support system for doctors and nurses working in understaffed health centres: “At m2m, we’ve had male nurses and doctors who were circumspect about the integration of Mentor Mothers at first, worried they would step on their toes. Now, they’ve become some of their strongest advocates, stressing what an integral part of the health team they’ve become.”

Emma France and the panellists discussing the added value of community health workers

The conversation quickly turned to the remuneration of health workers, many of which still operate as unpaid volunteers. The Financing Alliance for Health’s Angela Gichaga’s message was clear: “health workers are not only a health agenda, they are a development agenda… an investment rather than a cost.”

At m2m, we are proud of the fact that we train, employ, and pay Mentor Mothers. Their employment contributes to financial security for themselves and their families. By virtue of being professionalised, Mentor Mothers become role models, putting a face to empowered, strong, and healthy HIV-positive women, and thereby helping to reduce HIV-related discrimination and gender inequality.

While the potential of CHWs was widely recognised by panellists and members of the audience, Dr. Elizabeth Wala from Amref Health Kenya reminded everyone that they are not the “magic bullet” to achieving UHC: “They complement a system with many moving parts. They often are the forgotten part of health services delivery, but they principally act as a link between communities and the formal health system.”

Left to right: Thomas Opiyo Onyango, Living Goods, Henriette Geiger, European Commission, m2m’s Emma France, Angela Gichaga, Financing Alliance for Health, Dr. Elizabeth Wala, AMREF Health Africa and Ben Davies, Johnson&Johnson

Thomas Opiyo Onyango from Living Goods echoed this, declaring: “We absolutely need all hands-on deck. This is a collective responsibility we have, and everyone must get involved—especially the private sector who should use its expertise to help us achieve the long-term goal of UHC.” Thomas also added that all stakeholders should leverage the potential of technology to ensure an impactful, efficient and timely delivery of health services. From their experience, technology – such as performance management and data collection – supports strong decision making.

So how do we build partnerships that work and last? In Andrea Gichaga’s powerful final words: “Engage early. Engage meaningfully. Engage widely. And engage long-term.” At m2m, we couldn’t agree more!

You can listen to the full panel discussion, by tuning into the podcast here.

We are grateful to J&J and the European Development Days for inviting us to participate in this important conversation. Sign up to our newsletter or follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram to hear from the women on the frontline who are making this change happen.

Archive

15 October 2019

Team m2m takes on Royal Parks Half

Runner Will gave us a smile as he passed mile 9. Sunday 13th October was a wet and windy day...

14 October 2019

Saluting 11 Years of Raising the Future in Eswatini

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It was true in 1640 when this phrase was first written, and it...

3 October 2019

A British Airways visit with a Flying Start

mothers2mothers (m2m) was delighted to welcome our partners British Airways and UK grant-making charity Comic Relief at two of our...

3 October 2019

How to Achieve Universal Health Coverage?…Invest in Women

Last week, world leaders adopted what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called “the most comprehensive agreement ever reached on global...

25 September 2019

mothers2mothers Hosts HRH The Duchess of Sussex

“Talk about important work!” That was the reaction from Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, when she was introduced...

24 September 2019

Swimming for Change – Swim Serpentine 2019

On Saturday 21st September, mothers2mothers (m2m) supporters Warren Gething and Vivien Loseby took on Swim Serpentine—the UK’s greatest open water...

22 September 2019

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex To Visit mothers2mothers In Cape Town

We are thrilled to share that mothers2mothers (m2m) will be hosting Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, in Cape...

19 September 2019

A Wonder Women Tea with a twist!

At mothers2mothers (m2m), we celebrate the Wonder Women employed as Mentor Mothers and it is great to see that our...

17 September 2019

11M and Counting: Introducing m2m’s New Quarterly Report

Over 11M women and children under two reached with life-changing services since 2001. This is one of the key takeaways...

17 September 2019

m2m Patron Candice Swanepoel participates in Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day 2019

m2m Patron Candice Swanepoel on the trading floor during Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Cantor...

11 September 2019

Cycle2Zero 2020 – Uganda Here We Come!

mothers2mothers’ (m2m’s) challenge of a lifetime—Cycle2Zero—is back in 2020 for its fourth edition and we are very excited to reveal...

10 September 2019

The Power of Partnerships for the Next Generation

On Monday 9th September, mothers2mothers (m2m) held its Power of Partnerships event in one of London’s most iconic buildings, The...

29 August 2019

Youth Alive: A New Comic Relief-Supported Programme Tailored for Adolescents

South Africa has the largest HIV burden globally with about 7.1 million people living with HIV. The country also has...

8 August 2019

100 miles for Mentor Mothers – Ride London 2019

On Sunday 4th August, four cyclists representing team mothers2mothers (m2m) took to the streets with over 25,000 other participants to...

29 July 2019

World Breastfeeding Week 2019

1 – 7 August is World Breastfeeding Week! Annually, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) coordinates and organises the World...

25 July 2019

m2m Shares Knowledge at IAS 2019

Frank Beadle de Palomo at IAS 2019 Frank Beadle de Palomo, mothers2mothers’ (m2m’s) President and Chief Executive Officer, presented three...

15 July 2019

Quality and Impact at Scale—m2m’s 2018 Programme Evaluation Released

mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to share the findings of our 2018 Evaluation,1 which shows improved quality and the continued impact...

11 July 2019

LGT and m2m: “Progress, not the Status Quo”

Tom Kagerer, Investment Director at LGT VP Photographer: Eddy Risch, Schaan In the wake of the news that LGT Venture...

9 July 2019

New $1M Commitment from LGT Venture Philanthropy to Help m2m Significantly Increase Scale and Impact

mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to announce that our long-standing supporter, LGT Venture Philanthropy (LGT VP), has chosen to deepen their...

27 June 2019

Tackling health inequalities to leave no one behind

mothers2mothers (m2m) was delighted to join long-time supporter Johnson & Johnson (J&J) at the European Development Days 2019—a two-day conference...

14 June 2019

Amplifying the Voices of Girls and Women

The m2m team at Women Deliver. In early June, mothers2mothers (m2m) joined forces with other organisations and individuals committed to...

22 May 2019

m2m Featured in BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal

Red Nose Day is one of the biggest fundraising days in the UK, and mothers2mothers (m2m) was honoured to be...

21 May 2019

Adventures in the US

Relebohile Leoatha in Chicago. mothers2mothers (m2m) celebrated Wonder Women across the US with a recent visit from Spokeswoman and Mentor...

11 May 2019

Mother’s Day Reflections from Lesotho

This Mother’s Day, m2m Country Director Frida Kabaso reflects on the power of the mothers she works with in Lesotho....

8 May 2019

South African Supermodel Candice Swanepoel Joins m2m as a Patron

mothers2mothers (m2m) is delighted to announce that South African supermodel, fashion entrepreneur, and mother of two young children, Candice Swanepoel,...

9 April 2019

Celebrating Wonder Women!

Celebrate the Wonder Women (and men) in your life, while at the same time joining a global movement to help...

3 April 2019

Voices from the Frontline: Wilbroda Awour Akuro

In recognition of World Health Worker week (1-7 April), mothers2mothers (m2m) caught up with a couple of the community health...

2 April 2019

Voices from the Frontline: Phumeza Dyantyi

World Health Worker Week (1-7 April) is an opportunity to recognise the vital work that health workers are doing around the...

29 March 2019

Mother’s Day celebrations in the UK

The week before Mother’s Day in the UK (31st March), we were thrilled to join forces with Peanut for an...

27 March 2019

Running for change – Vitality Half Marathon

Nathalie Cazals, a 36-year-old personal assistant from France, took part in the Vitality Big Half, a 13.1-mile race across London,...

26 March 2019

Shopping with a ca­­use – Mytheresa Charity Initiative

International Women’s Day, on 8th March, is a day to celebrate Wonder Women across the globe and to recognise the...

23 March 2019

Cyclone Idai: Update on m2m teams in Mozambique and Malawi

Update: As of 3pm GMT on Monday 25 March, we have managed to contact all staff in Mozambique affected by...

21 March 2019

My Immersive Experience with mothers2mothers

Every year mothers2mothers (m2m) holds its annual Immersive Experience – a chance for donors and supporters to visit m2m in...

19 March 2019

m2m launches new Orphans and Vulnerable Children programme in South Africa

Four million children in South Africa have lost one or both parents due to AIDS in the last three decades,...

13 March 2019

Thinking Equal and Innovating for change on International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is always an important date in the calendar at mothers2mothers (m2m). This year’s theme – “Think Equal,...

5 March 2019

Ten Million and Ten Thousand: Two Major 2018 Milestones for mothers2mothers

With 2018 firmly in our rear-view mirror, we are in the process of analysing data to prepare our in-depth internal...

12 February 2019

New Peer-Reviewed Article Examines Impact of Lay Health Workers programmes including mothers2mothers Model

mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to share that Dr Kathrin Schmitz, our Director of Programmes and Technical Support, is the lead...