In a country characterised by mountains and small rural areas, it is not uncommon for Mentor Mothers to help heavily pregnant women who have spent hours trudging through rocky terrain in order to seek medical care.
|OVERVIEW: (As at November 2017)|
|Mentor Mothers (in health centres)||70|
|Community Site Coordinators||52|
|Community Mentor Mothers||143|
|Adult HIV prevalence*||25%|
mothers2mothers (m2m) began providing Mentor Mother services in Lesotho in 2007. m2m operates in five districts that have been identified by the Ministry of Health and its partners as having the highest burden of HIV and AIDS in the country. They include: Maseru, Mafeteng, Leribe, Mohale’s Hoek, and Berea.
m2m Lesotho recruits, trains, and places mothers living with HIV in health facilities and within communities to ensure that other women and their babies access the full cascade of health services to protect their babies from HIV infection and stay healthy. Through our family-centred approach, we use our contact with mothers and babies to interact with entire families, educating them on prevention and HIV counselling and testing, and linking them to health centres for the care they need.
Lesotho may be one of the smallest countries in Africa, yet distances between communities and the country’s rural landscape makes reaching many women a challenge. To overcome this obstacle, Mentor Mothers are working closely with health facilities on mobile clinic initiatives. These are monthly outreach programmes that bring medical services to people living in remote areas. They have proven very important as women turn up in large numbers to ensure they receive treatment and meet with Mentor Mothers.
“There is hope. Hope that one day, we shall win this fight against HIV and AIDS… HIV-positive pregnant women must get PMTCT services in order to have HIV-negative babies. All of this is possible if we each contribute to this fight.”
– Matanki, Mentor Mother