mothers2mothers (m2m) is contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending AIDS, ensuring good health and wellbeing for everyone (SDG 3), and achieving gender equality (SDG 5) by 2030. In pursuit of these goals, together with our partners, we enrolled nearly 2.3M new clients into care across seven countries in 2017; an 18% rise over 2016. These are among the exciting results of m2m’s 2017 Annual Evaluation—a yearly, in-depth performance review of our country programmes that is a key part of our rigorous monitoring and evaluation process—which we are releasing today.
Data from the annual evaluation shows that m2m is playing an important role in preventing new HIV infections. In 2017, we helped to stop new infections among children by contributing to the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) among our enrolled clients for the fourth consecutive year. The United Nations benchmark for virtual elimination is 5%, our MTCT rate was just 1.6%. We are helping to stop new infections amongst adults as well—just 0.07% of women who were HIV-negative at enrolment into the m2m programme contracted HIV—compared to a 2014 pan-African benchmark of 3.6%1.
In 2017, m2m also almost achieved or met each of the UN’s 90-90-90 targets, the most important global framework for HIV. For example, the “second 90” calls for 90% of all HIV-positive people to be on treatment by 2020. Ninety-eight percent of our clients were initiated on treatment, and 90% are alive and remain in care after a year. Again—we outperformed a key benchmark here—on average, only 75% of individuals are retained in care at 12 months across Southern and Eastern Africa2.
Health and Wellbeing for All
m2m has evolved from our initial focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and now provides family-centred support for a range of related health and social issues for both HIV-positive and HIV-negative clients. In 2017, m2m and our partners enrolled nearly 2.3 million new clients into care in 7 countries—an 18% increase from 2016—including women, children, adolescents, and men. Services were delivered across more than 1,000 locations, both at health centres and door-to-door in the surrounding communities. Women, children and adolescents—our key target populations—each now make up roughly a third of the clients we serve directly.
We are particularly proud of the impact we are making in the Early Childhood Development arena—one of our newest programme areas. 97% of our ECD clients (children 0-5) achieved their developmental milestones at 12 months, and more than 99% did in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
Promoting Gender Equality
One of our key contributions to gender equality is creating professional opportunities and economic wellbeing for HIV-positive women who are often among society’s most marginalised. In 2017, 2,912 HIV-positive women were employed and paid as Mentor Mothers across seven countries—1,361 directly by m2m, and 1,551 by our partners implementing the Mentor Mother Model.
For the full set of highlights, please visit the evaluation summary. We’ll be releasing more data and analysis in the months ahead.
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1 Drake et al, ‘Incident HIV during Pregnancy and Postpartum and Risk of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis’ (2014) Published at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001608
2 UNAIDS, 2017