South African NGO Mothers to Mothers-To-Be Visit USAID While on a U.S. Tour
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2006
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Washington, DC - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a meeting on March 14th with South African nongovernmental organization (NGO) Mothers to Mothers-To-Be (M2M2B). The session was chaired by Melinda Wilson, HIV Care and Treatment Technical Advisor for USAID South Africa. USAID opened with a brief presentation on the global status of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS, follow-up care and a panel presentation by M2M2B on their regional and South Africa specific work. The women from M2M2B are site coordinators who have gone through the M2M2B program. They shared their personal and professional experiences and challenges with the audience.
The six member delegation is in Washington, DC at the request of first lady Laura Bush to spend one week touring the capital city, Baltimore and Philadelphia to gain knowledge and training from U.S. agencies and institutions involved in HIV/AIDS research, education, prevention, treatment and care.
After a July 2005 visit to South African hospitals and clinics, Mrs. Bush met with mothers who have benefited from the services provided by Mothers-to-Mothers and now wants Americans to know of the good work this organization is doing for the women in South Africa. More than 5 million South Africans are estimated to be HIV positive and between 2 and 3 million children will be either infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS in the next ten years. "The M2M2B women have lived the experience that new women and families are entering upon learning of a positive HIV status. With the combination of technical training and personal experience, the M2M2B share their strength and hope with each other." said Sara Bowsky, HIV/AIDS Care Advisor for USAID Africa Bureau.
Sponsored by the State Department's International Visitor Program and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). During the week long exchange, the M2M2B delegation has already participated in a White House event hosted by the first lady, a forum on AIDS in Africa at Georgetown University, and a visit to the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of State and a host of other organizations.
Mothers2Mothers, a project of the Mothers Programmes is a community-based HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment support project for HIV positive pregnant women and new mothers. The program uses education and mentoring as tools to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the HIV virus, to support mothers' adherence to medical treatment, to empower mothers to improve their health and the health of their babies, and to combat the stigma within families and communities. The non-profit organization has sites in five provinces of South Africa as well as Ethiopia and Botswana. For more information on Mothers2Mothers visit www.mothersprogrammes.org. For more information on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) visit www.state.gov/s/gac.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years.
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