Empowering Young Mothers to Prevent Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS
The PMTCT Focal person in Reach Out takes young mothers through a session on maternal health and prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT)
By Venus Okello
Amo Joy 18 years old (not real name), testified to having many boyfriends who supported her with money. During the Young Mothers’ training, she was able to know her status and promised not to engage in such risky behavior again. “I encourage young girls to remain in school and those who have children already to find a decent source of living to support their families,” she said.
Joy is under the young mother’s program initiated by Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV /AIDS Initiative. The program aims at empowering vulnerable girls who are often victims of teenage pregnancies, to cope with the situations and in the end, they are able to give birth to healthy and HIV free babies.
ROM often offers sessions on parenting, HIV prevention, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, Adherence, Financial empowerment through Village Saving and Loans Association (VSLA) and Gender Based Violence (GBV) to the young mothers.
In the sessions, the young mothers are also encouraged to know their HIV status and are offered free HIV counselling and testing to prevent transmission of the virus to their unborn babies in case found positive.
Through these avenues’ ROM is able to reach out to the vulnerable girls who in turn pass on the information received to their spouses and other teenagers in their communities.
A young mother receiving HIV testing by a ROM counselor