Officials of British Airways, m2m and Comic Relief at the event
THOUSANDS OF Ghanaian
children will get a flying start to life as they and their families receive
life-saving health services from
mothers2mothers (m2m), an African not-for-profit organisation.
With funding support from
British Airways and Comic Relief, 12 local women living with HIV have been
trained and are employed by m2m as “Mentor Mothers”.
Working from two health
facilities and in surrounding communities in Ashaiman and Atua, these frontline
health workers have recently begun to deliver vital health services, education
and psychosocial support to both HIV-positive and -negative women and their
m2m’s services are
designed to ensure children get the best start in life, which means being born
HIV-free and receiving an essential package of early childhood development
(ECD) services. Over 11,000 women and children under three are expected to
benefit in the next two years.
“We are delighted
that Ghana has become the first West African member of the m2m family, and the
ninth country in which we are working,”said
Frank Beadle de Palomo, m2m’s President and CEO, at a high-level launch event
today in Accra.
model delivers results—we’ve helped to almost end mother-to-child transmission
of HIV for our clients for five years in a row and 97% of those enrolled in our
ECD services in 2017 achieved all of their milestones by their first birthday.
Thanks to British Airways and Comic Relief, we are confident we can play our
part to ensure a healthy, thriving future in Ghana”, he added.
m2m’s launch in Ghana comes as the nation has shown global leadership by becoming the first country to adopt the World Health Organization’s (WHO) and UNICEF’s Nurturing Care For Early Childhood Development framework—a new, globally recognised framework for best practice in ECD. Despite this, Ghana’s youngest citizens still face significant challenges. More than 3,000 new HIV infections were recorded among infants and children in 2017, and over one in four young Ghanaian children lag behind in language, cognitive, physical and socio-emotional development.
m2m will be tackling
these challenges by promoting responsive parenting and nurturing care to
parents and caregivers of HIV-exposed and other vulnerable young
children—addressing factors such as the importance of play, nutrition, and
accessing health services.
After visiting Ashaiman
Polyclinic outside Accra to see m2m’s work in action, Alex Cruz, British
Airways Chairman and CEO,said: ”As a global airline, we bring people
together every day and we are committed to having a positive impact in the communities to
which we fly. Our support to m2m, through our Flying Start partnership with
Comic Relief, is a shining example of what can be achieved in Ghana and the
other African countries where it operates. mothers2mothers truly is an African
success story and we are very proud to support it.”
Ruth Davison, Interim CEO
of Comic Relief, said: “mothers2mothers
is a fantastic example of an organisation that empowers local leaders to help,
educate and elevate communities. I am delighted that our funding partnership
with BA has helped m2m bring its vitally important services to Ghana. We are
proud to have supported their work over the last 11 years as they have created
over 10,000 jobs for women living with HIV and improved the lives of more than
11 million women and young children.”