Ethiopia Community Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Project

Photo by Sala Lewis

During routine antenatal services, all pregnant women receive information and screenings—for the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. That way, women who need further care are identified and better served.

This initiative focuses on increasing use of maternal, newborn, and child health services and preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services through community-based, integrated approaches tailored to Ethiopia. Working closely with the government of Ethiopia, Pathfinder is increasing demand for PMTCT services at the community level. Pathfinder works closely with health extension workers, associations of HIV-positive people, religious leaders, and government structures to increase knowledge and awareness of the community on availability and benefits of maternal and child health and PMTCT services.

Pathfinder also works to strengthen systems of referral linkage between the community and health centers. Moreover, we build capacity of civil society organizations, helping them integrate PMTCT into their routine activities to ensure sustainability.

Now in its fourth year, the project is documenting its successes while strengthening promising approaches that are expected to increase the uptake of services and improve the follow-up of HIV-positive mothers and HIV-exposed infants. The project has expanded its activities into additional health centers, increased outreach activities to increase PMTCT coverage, established community and facility-based mother support groups, and developed sustainability and transition plans with regional health bureaus. Pathfinder jointly led demand-generation activities, making strides in rolling out the community mobilization approach. Since the start of project activities, more than 16,000 individuals were reached with health messages. Pathfinder has also sponsored 13 radio programs delivering health messages on maternal health, child health, and PMTCT.

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