m2m, HP collaborate to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa

Today at the Digital Life Design conference, HP and mothers2mothers (m2m), a South Africa-based nongovernmental organization, announced a new collaboration that will use the power of technology to help prevent the transmission of HIV from HIV-positive pregnant mothers in Africa to their children.

New database technology and cloud and mobile services from HP will convert the current paper-based patient records system into a digital community that enables easy sharing of information across the m2m network of more than 700 sites in sub-Saharan Africa. This more efficient management system will empower counselors to provide more effective education and support services to pregnant mothers.

  • The system will provide easy access to up-to-date information on patient treatment plans and advanced reporting tools to provide faster and more effective access to information. This will allow m2m to scale knowledge and best practices across its network.
  • In the next phase of the program, m2m employees will be able to collect and share data via basic mobile phones, creating an "always connected" environment. This will enable employees to collect data more efficiently from patients and, over time, will help the operation scale to meet the demands of more patients.

Unique approach to HIV prevention

m2m helps to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV through an effective, sustainable model of care. Each year, m2m counsels more than 1.5 million women in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mothers living with HIV are employed to mentor HIV-positive pregnant and new mothers in health facilities. They work side by side with doctors and nurses, supporting and educating women about how to take their medicines and care of themselves and their babies. The mothers employed by m2m come from the local communities in which they work, providing a solution to the lack of healthcare providers in Africa. These counselors help combat the stigma of HIV within the community, empowering the women they counsel and ultimately saving lives.

Background on mother-to-child transmission of HIV

Mother-to-child HIV transmission rates remain high in Africa in part due to the challenge of ensuring mothers' adherence to medical treatment. Additional facts on the scope of this issue:

  • There are more than 1.3 million pregnant women living with HIV in Africa. Without any interventions, 40 percent of those women will have HIV-positive babies.
  • Each year, more babies are born with HIV in one busy clinic in Africa than in the United States, Canada and England combined. Worldwide, 1.4 million pregnant women are HIV-positive. Eighty-eight percent of these women live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Preventing the transmission of HIV from a mother to a child is straightforward. Its simplest application - a single dose of medication to a mother during labor and a dose to her infant shortly after birth - can cut transmission risk nearly in half.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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