We recruit and train local women to become Mentor Mothers, to provide the most vulnerable expectant mothers and young children in their own communities with maternal health-care and nutritional advice, as well as to offer support and empathy to the most deprived mothers throughout their pregnancy and until their child reaches age six.

The Context

Enable expands a methodology that successfully contributes to the reduction of under-5 mortality and morbidity in the target area, by providing comprehensive support to vulnerable mothers and children around preventing Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV, nutrition, immunisation rates, and maternal mental health.

Meet Punyezwa, who benefited from support from One to One Children's Fund during her pregnancy.

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  • Directly help 5,370 people, including 2,685 children over 3 years
  • Indirectly benefit 48,600 people, including 24,300 children
  • Improve growth rates for low birth weight children at 3 and 6 months
  • Increase rates of exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months – mixing breast and bottle feeding increases babies’ chances of contracting HIV
  • Increase immunisation uptake rates
  • Improve the well-being of mothers
  • Increase the number of pregnant women enrolled in PMTCT programmes, reducing the HIV transmission rate to less than 5%
  • Improve early childhood development and maternal mental health
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  • Systematically embeds the work of mentor mothers into local health systems, ensuring there is a continuum of care from home to clinic
  • Utilises academics from Stellenbosch University to evaluate data collected with regards to programme outcomes and the factors surrounding the implementation of the programme

Mentor Mothers:

  • Conduct and record daily home visits, with the support of our trained supervisors
  • Support women to attend antenatal appointments
  • Help women living with HIV access ART
  • Ensure children are tested for HIV
  • Educate mothers on exclusive breastfeeding, postnatal care and nutrition
  • Assist mothers accessing state grants
  • Identify underweight children and ensure that they get appropriate care and treatment where necessary
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Progress to Date

  • 1,238 mothers-to-be, babies and children directly cared for by Mentor Mothers
  • 12,445 community members benefit from Enable services
  • Less than 1% mother to child transmission of HIV in target households
  • Increased attendance of antenatal appointments by 20%
  • Increased adherence to ART by 25%
  • Rehabilitated 75% of underweight babes
  • Mothers know there is support and advice at hand to keep their families healthy 
  • Families benefit from improved availability of services including frequent mobile clinic visits, nutritional support and child support grants 
  • 7 doctors active in the hospital where previously only 1 doctor was trying to serve a population of 143,000

Meet Punyezwa, who benefited from support from One to One Children's Fund during her pregnancy.

Location: Nyandeni Municipality in OR Tambo district in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Funder: UBS Optimus Foundation
Partner: Philani, Stellenbosch Universities, OR Tambo District Department of Health
Dates: From 2016 to 2019
Status of Project: Pilot phase

Between 30% and 45% of HIV positive women who are not accessing treatment will pass the virus on to their babies.


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