mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to unveil today its ambitious new strategic direction for 2022-2026, which will see us take the next step in our evolution and become an integrated Primary Health Care organisation. Building on two decades of experience, reach, and impact, we will use our proven peer-led model to double down on ending HIV/AIDS, and tackle life-threatening health issues that pose major risks for people living with HIV—all with the aim of building a fairer, healthier future. We will do this without losing what makes our impact so meaningful and long-lasting: the employment of African women living with HIV as Community Health Workers (CHWs).
Why is m2m continuing its evolution to become a Primary Health Care organisation?
This new strategy has been informed by the experiences and realities of m2m’s frontline staff, and also reflects the consensus in the global health community that achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of health for all by 2030 will depend on meeting the needs of communities in an integrated way.
“Universal health coverage should be based on strong, people-centred primary health care. Good health systems are rooted in the communities they serve. They focus not only on preventing and treating disease and illness, but also on helping to improve well-being and quality of life.”
—World Health Organization
The need for people-centred, integrated care has become more urgent than ever as profound inequities continue to fuel a crisis of preventable health issues in sub-Saharan Africa. Not only is this having a devastating impact on women, children, and other vulnerable groups—it is also stopping African communities from reaching their full potential. Furthermore, access remains a critical issue, with over 600 million people across the African continent (52% of the population) still not accessing the healthcare they need.
We can—and must—act now to prevent the preventable, and deliver health and opportunity for all. In the face of such challenges, we know our model and platform can make a difference.
What will m2m focus on in our new five-year strategy?
For the next five years, we will:
- Double down on ending HIV/AIDS by continuing to deliver on our original mission of ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV, while expanding our support to include more reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health services.
- Tackle related-health areas, including Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Non-Communicable Diseases (including Cervical Cancer)—many of which frequently occur alongside HIV and in settings of marginalisation and poverty. We have undertaken successful pilots in most of these new intervention areas, and we are ready to go to scale.
- Deepen partnerships and continue to support African governments to unlock the power of female CHWs through certification, employment, and career pathing. We will also increasingly use our platform to advocate for greater recognition for CHWs as the key resource and vital link that they are, and push for their further integration into national health infrastructures.
By delivering healthcare to families that need it most, by those who know them best, we will create a foundation for opportunity in African communities that ultimately leads to a healthier, fairer world. By 2026, we will:
- Deliver an end to vertical transmission of HIV for enrolled clients, fulfilling m2m’s original mission.
- Reduce by 1/3 the number of preventable deaths among m2m clients.
- Achieve the UNAIDS triple elimination target for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B for enrolled clients.
Why is this strategy the right direction for m2m and for the communities we serve?
While we know this is an ambitious plan, we are confident we have the experience and expertise to execute it.
For more than 20 years, m2m has demonstrated that mothers living with HIV working as paid, professionalised CHWs can prevent and treat HIV and help women and children thrive—with transformative results for their communities and themselves.
- Since we began, we have helped keep 1.17M at-risk women and almost 1M at-risk children alive.
- We have achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among our enrolled clients for eight consecutive years.
- All while creating jobs for nearly 12,000 women.
Our new strategy is a logical—and necessary—next step to meet the needs of the communities we serve, unlock the full potential of our model, and play our part in creating a healthier, fairer, and more prosperous future.
We can’t wait for you to join us in this new chapter for m2m and the clients we serve. Sign up to our newsletter today to stay up to date and learn more about how you can get involved.
As we unveil our new journey as an integrated Primary Health Care organisation, m2m President and CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo and Regional Director for Lusophone Countries Ilda Kuleba pen an important devex op-ed on the urgent need to prioritise CHWs to unlock health for all. Read their piece here.