USAID funding mechanism makes $44.5M available to tackle HIV and a wide range of related health issues, bolster health systems & empower community members through employment
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, 20 February, 2018 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and mothers2mothers (m2m) have today announced details of a five-year, $44.5M award —Reducing Infections through Support and Education (RISE II).
RISE II is designed to contribute to global goals of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, and improve community health and wellbeing across Southern and Eastern Africa. Through RISE II, USAID missions will “buy in” to engage Africa-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) m2m to deploy its proven peer model to tackle HIV’s causes and effects and address a wide range of related health issues, especially prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and including non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). To deliver these services, m2m trains and employs cadres of peer mentors to serve as frontline health workers. The partnership leverages USAID’s investment in m2m’s work over more than a decade, during which time the organization has grown in scale, scope, and impact.
“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,” said Frank Beadle de Palomo, m2m’s President and CEO. “We have a track record of scaling our services and proven impact. 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.”
RISE II builds upon an innovative regional partnership that USAID launched with m2m in 2012 (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 heath facilities and door-to-door in their communities. Amongst its impacts, 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, said: “At USAID/Southern Africa, we are pleased to continue our partnership with m2m to address very important health issues such as the prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child, reproductive health and gender disparities. 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.”
Through RISE II, m2m will offer a broad range of services to improve health outcomes of women and their families, bolster the capacity of health systems, and help shape policies and systems. This includes direct service delivery of m2m’s peer mentor approach, through which a cadre of mentors serve as frontline healthcare workers in understaffed health centres and communities. The health advice and emotional support they provide to women and family members (including orphans and vulnerable children and male partners) spans preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), reproductive, maternal, newborn, child health (RMNCH), early childhood development (ECD), adolescent health, nutrition, non-communicable diseases, and WASH.
In addition to providing services directly, m2m will partner with governments and other NGOs on the adoption of our peer mentor approach into national and provincial health systems. Through RISE I funding, m2m supported the Kenyan government to adopt m2m’s peer mentor approach as national policy. m2m also provides technical assistance on policies, operational research, and management science to governments, NGOs, and other public health actors.
*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.
Interviews, photographs and further data available on request from:
Dillon Mann, m2m Communications Director: +27 76 238 2313 / firstname.lastname@example.org / @dillonmann