mothers2mothers (m2m) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have today announced details of a five-year, $44.5M partnership — Reducing Infections through Support and Education (RISE II) – designed to contribute to the UNAIDS Global Goals of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, while improving community health and wellbeing across Southern and Eastern Africa.
Through this funding mechanism, USAID missions can engage m2m to deploy our proven peer mentor model to tackle HIV’s causes and effects and a wide range of related health issues, especially the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and including non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).
RISE II builds upon an innovative regional partnership that USAID first launched with m2m in 2012, called RISE I. From 2012 to 2017, m2m delivered an essential package of services in Kenya, Lesotho, and Swaziland through RISE I that helped ensure that hundreds of thousands of women and their families got the health advice and medication they needed, were linked to the right clinical services, and were supported on their treatment journey—both at health facilities and door-to-door in their communities. Through RISE I funding, m2m also supported the Kenyan government to adopt m2m’s peer mentor approach as national policy. The result? RISE I contributed to the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV among m2m’s enrolled clients in 2016, achieving an MTCT rate of 0.6% in Kenya (compared to 8.3% nationally), 1.6% in Lesotho (11% nationally), and 1.3% in Swaziland (3.3% nationally).*
Jennifer Erie, Regional Health Officer at USAID Southern Africa, expects RISE II to have an even broader scope: “We are delighted that implementation continues to support the national government programs in countries such as Lesotho and Swaziland. We are also excited that we have Mozambique buying in this year for the first time. We look forward to additional countries buying into this award as time goes on so that we can contribute even more to the UNAIDS Fast Track 90-90-90 goals by 2020 and 95-95-95 by 2030.”
In addition to directly employing peer mentors to serve as frontline healthcare workers in understaffed health centres and communities, m2m will have opportunities through RISE II to partner with additional governments and NGOs to integrate our peer mentor approach into national and provincial health systems. m2m will also provide technical assistance on policies, operational research, and management science to governments, NGOs, and other public health actors.
“m2m greatly values our longstanding partnership with USAID. Through USAID’s ongoing support, m2m has become a trusted regional partner delivering sustainable health solutions with programmes for almost all stages of life, spanning pregnancy, birth, childhood, and adolescence,” Frank Beadle de Palomo, m2m’s President and CEO, said of m2m’s partnership with USAID that has spanned more than a decade.
“In 2016 alone, m2m and our partners reached almost two million individuals across seven African nations and helped to prevent HIV infections in over 700,000 infants. We are excited for this opportunity to make our services accessible to even more women and families in Southern and Eastern Africa, and to broaden the scope of our work to match evolving public health needs,” Frank added.
Through RISE II, m2m is looking forward to improving the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands more women and families across Southern and Eastern Africa, and we are grateful to USAID for making this possible.
*Data from m2m’s 2016 Annual Evaluation. These outcomes do not include only RISE-funded sites, but they are representative of the results at all m2m sites in the respective countries.