Scaling up the Mentor Mother Model in Kenya
m2m has been tirelessly pursuing our vision of establishing a national Mentor Mother program in Kenya since 2010; m2m and the Kenya Ministry of Health (MoH) aspire to place Mentor Mothers in every health facility providing PMTCT care across the country. m2m and the MOH recently achieved a key milestone towards this goal – the release of the national guidelines for the Kenya Mentor Mother Program (KMMP). The “National Guidelines for PMTCT Peer Education and Psychosocial Support in Kenya” provide the foundation for integrating Mentor Mother services, peer education and psychosocial support, into the national prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) program.
“The national guidelines are the culmination of months of hard work and we are excited to have finished such an important element of the KMMP,” said m2m Country Representative Nicole Fulton. “We are grateful to be able to work closely with the MOH and have the support of so many partners in making this dream come true.” The guidelines define standards of care for peer education and psychosocial support and the KMMP will use the guidelines to ensure Mentor Mothers continue to provide quality care to clients.
Fulton and her m2m staff are looking forward to working with the MOH to finalize two other key elements of the KMMP – the monitoring & evaluation framework and the Mentor Mother curriculum. m2m has also begun the process to identify and train local implementing partners, non-governmental organizations already operating within target regions in Kenya, to deliver Mentor Mother services as part of the KMMP.
m2m and the MOH are not only ones excited about the KMMP’s progress. “I was so happy to hear they’re making a national m2m,” said a Site Coordinator who has worked with m2m for two years. “I told my clients and they are happy that mothers like them, all over the country, will have the support of Mentor Mothers.”
m2m has been operating in Kenya in January 2008 and implemented the Mentor Mother model at sites throughout Nairobi, Central, Western and Nyanza provinces. m2m’s Mentor Mothers provided vital support and education for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV and were well-received by facility staff and government officials. After extensive conversations and with the support of USAID, m2m and the Government of Kenya (GOK) decided to establish a national Mentor Mother program, the KMMP.