HIV and maternal mortality have been called ‘the two intersecting epidemics’ (The Lancet). A pregnant woman who is living with HIV is six times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than a woman who is not living with HIV.
IMPACT (Improving Parent and Child Outcomes) is a Tearfund partner programme that uses the concept of ‘Mother Buddies’. These are trained church volunteers, mainly mothers living with HIV, who want to pass on their learning and experience to other expectant mothers in their community. They visit vulnerable pregnant women about eight times over a 12–15 month period, covering 6–9 months of pregnancy and 6 months after birth. They support the family through encouragement and friendship, and by providing information and helping women to attend antenatal appointments.