South Africa has made tremendous progress in reducing mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV, with new HIV infections among children falling by 76% since 2009 and more than 95% of pregnant women living with HIV accessing antiretroviral medicines to protect their babies from infection.*

OVERVIEW: (As at November 2017)
Program inception 2001
Sites 65
Site Coordinators 36
Mentor Mothers (in health centres) 96
Community Mentor Mother Coordinators 11
Community Mentor Mothers  28
Family Mentor Mothers 32
ECHS Community Mentor Mother Coordinators 7
Peer Mentors 10
Adult HIV prevalence* 18.9%

The birthplace of m2m’s first programme, mothers2mothers (m2m) reached almost 50,920 HIV-positive women and 27,800 HIV-exposed infants in the country through both direct service delivery and technical assistance.

South Africa is now at the forefront of a number of important initiatives that are shaping the organisation’s future. Through our facility-to-community, family-centred approach, m2m facilitates integrated quality services, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH), and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), in addition to providing care and treatment support for HIV-positive pregnant women and their families.

m2m’s work in South Africa has also expanded with an Early Childhood Household Stimulation (ECHS) programme, in which Family Mentors support parents and caregivers at their homes to provide vulnerable children with a range of safe, accessible, comprehensive, early childhood development services. And through our Adolescent Health Initiative, young women employed as Peer Mentors promote HIV counseling and testing, as well as critically needed safer sex education, among their peers.

In 2017, the South African National Department of Health signed a formal funding agreement with m2m, making the South Africa programme a national partner. The agreement recognises the contributions m2m has made by reducing mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV and strengthening community-based support for PMTCT services in South Africa. Under the agreement, the government will fund eight Community Mentor Mother sites in Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces where m2m provides critical community engagement, reaching women and families in their homes, providing household-level support and linking them to nearby health centres for treatment and services.

Since 2012, m2m has provided technical assistance and capacity-building support to the Department of Health to institutionalise a Mentor Mother programme in targeted Provinces. The South Africa Mentor Mother Programme (SAMMP) provides non-clinical, complementary care and support to pregnant and postnatal women and their babies to enhance the uptake of adherence to and retention in PMTCT and RMNCH services. Under a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and guided by Memorandum of Understanding with the South African Provincial Departments of Health, m2m assisted with the development and integration of SAMMP, and continues to help government-funded sites with Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement of SAMMP sites.

“The only person who is dying is the person who doesn’t know their status, I know mine and I am not going anywhere.”

– Beauty, Mentor Mother