Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) programs provide prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child and an entry point for enrolment of infected pregnant women and their families into antiretroviral treatment programs. In Ethiopia these efforts are being led by the Federal Ministry of Health of the government of Ethiopia with technical and financial support of partners in an effort to mitigate the impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the general population and amongst children in particular.
In Ethiopia, PMTCT programs are now being integrated within the antenatal care service (ANC) in health institutions. During the provision of antenatal care services at public health institutions, pregnant women are offered group counseling. It has been noted, however, that even after counseling some women do not get tested. Aside from that, more than half of those who do opt for the HIV test are not given post-test counseling when they receive their results.
One of P2P’s current planned objectives is to undertake PMTCT activities that help to train newly delivered mothers who received PMTCT services to become Mother Mentors to reassure other newly diagnosed HIV-positive pregnant women that it is possible to have a healthy baby, that she is not alone, and to help her access the appropriate services. In this endeavor, P2P plans to:
- 1) prepare comprehensive curriculum to train expert/mentor mothers to support, reassure and advise the newly diagnosed HIV positive mothers to be enrolled in PMTCT programs;
- 2) provide appropriate training and support to make volunteer mothers experts or mentors for other mothers; and
- 3) effectively integrate Mother Mentors into the overburdened and stressed health system and promote PMTCT service utilization.