Friday, June 10, 2011

Global Plan to Eliminate MTCT Launched!

This is very, very exciting news. UNAIDS, in concert with 25 countries and 30 organizations/corporations (including mothers2mothers), has launched a global plan, Countdown to Zero, to reduce new infections of HIV among children (mother-to-child transmission, MTCT) by 90% and AIDS-related maternal deaths by 50% by 2015. The plan calls for countries to strengthen community involvement, such as a "mentor mother" model for PMTCT. A mentor mother, according to the report, is "a mother living with HIV who is trained and employed as part of a medical team to support, educate and empower pregnant women and new mothers about their health and their babies’ health." So great to hear.

Of course there are things to be concerned about. The current funding environment is volatile, to say the least. These goals will require a massive coordination of efforts at the local, country, and global levels from a multitude of actors who haven't always played nice in the past. And the plan, of course, could go further. But this is the UN (plus 25 countries and 30 NGOs, foundations, civil society orgs, and private sector companies) we're talking about. In those terms, this is pretty bold.

For more reading, see the m2m press release. Full report here (it's a PDF).

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