Post-natal clubs keep babies safe
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The Welcome Back service was launched in partnership with the City Health Department and Mothers2Mothers, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV through education and support.
According to Doctors Without Borders, post-natal clubs are more successful than the standard approach at providing mothers and infant pairs with the health care they need in the first 18 months.
It seeks to keep mothers and their newborn babies involved in participating in ongoing healthcare check-ups for the full first 18 months of the baby’s life.
An HIV-positive mother and a member of post-natal club from Khayelitsha, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “As a young mother, I did not know that I would give birth an HIV-negative child. This club has opened my eyes and educated me so much.
“I have participated in group discussions, benefited from early childhood group activities, and got support from specialised nurses and trained HIV counsellors.”
Dr Aurelie Nelson from Doctors Without Borders said: “It is encouraging that 82% of moms and tots have been retained in care at 18 months, considering that the retention rate in standard care is 34%.
“Not a single one of over 100 infants, who completed the pilot programme, had been infected with HIV.”@SISONKE_MD