Los Angeles Times Profiles Group Training S. African Women on Preventing Vertical HIV Transmission, Mentoring Other Women
The Los Angeles Times on Friday profiled Mothers' Programmes, a group that provides training for South African HIV-positive pregnant women about how to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission and later mentor other HIV-positive pregnant women. Mitch Besser, an OB/GYN from San Diego, started the program in 2002 at a Cape Town maternity clinic, and it since has expanded to 64 sites across South Africa. The pregnant women participating in the program learn about medications, nutrition, formula feeding, and how to combat stigma and societal pressures. After their infants are born, the women become mentors to new women entering the program. Mentors are paid a small salary and participate in other entrepreneurial projects, such as beading and blanket-making groups, giving them a chance to become financially independent. Besser plans to expand Mothers' Programmes to Botswana, Ethiopia and Mozambique within the next three months, he said (Levine, Los Angeles Times, 6/24).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.