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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Local Partner Assumes Responsibility for MAMA+ Project at Three Sites in Ukraine

Two years after launching MAMA+ in Ukraine, HealthRight International has transferred full control to the All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, who will continue to preserve families affected by HIV

A MAMA+ client visits the doctor with her 
newborn

In 2005, HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World-USA) replicated its successful MAMA+ Project model in Ukraine, to reverse a growing and disturbing rate of abandonment of children born to HIV-positive mothers. From the outset, HealthRight envisioned and implemented a project which would include at its core partnerships with local providers, social service organizations, and government agencies. HealthRight recognized that in order to successfully address the needs of women and families in crisis in the long-term, we must ensure that solutions are created and implemented on a local level - by involving local actors to identify problems and develop solutions, and by building the capacity of local health and social service workers to provide care.
 
Two years later, with the MAMA+ Project successfully operating in three regions in Ukraine, HealthRight is pleased to announce the full transfer of the project to one of our key implementing partners, the
All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (AUNPWA). The AUNPWA is the largest organization working to address the needs of people living with HIV in Ukraine, providing services and advocating for an increased response to Ukraine’s HIV epidemic. By transferring control of the MAMA+ Project in Ukraine to the AUNPWA, HealthRight will ensure that the project serves women and families for years to come and that this replicable model for service expands to address the challenges that remain.
 
“The MAMA+ model ensures a comprehensive approach to preventing child abandonment,” said Hanna Kodas, AUNPWA Program Director. “This multidisciplinary approach in case management will become a part of the daily organizational practice for many regional representatives of the [AUNPWA].”
 
Women and Families in Crisis

Tatyana, a young mother living with HIV in Donetsk, Ukraine, first met a MAMA+ Project coordinator two weeks before she gave birth to her son. At the time, Tatyana was living in a crowded two room apartment with her parents and siblings. Facing the difficulties of living with HIV, and lacking financial and other support, Tatyana felt that she would be unable to care for her child and provide him with a stable home. The MAMA+ Project has worked closely with Tatyana to address her needs, providing her with support and helping her to access services at the local AIDS Center for treatment and drug therapy. Coordinators visited Tatyana and her family at home regularly, providing food, medical supplies, and counseling. As a result, Tatyana has decided to keep her son – she now lives with the baby’s father and receives regular medical care at the Donetsk AIDS Center.
 
Access to Services for Years to Come

With a growing rate of HIV among women of childbearing age in Ukraine, the need for supportive services and advocacy could not be greater. With the AUNPWA at the helm, the MAMA+ Project will continue to empower Tatyana and other women like her to provide nurturing homes for their children. And as the largest NGO serving those living with HIV in Ukraine, AUNPWA is uniquely situated to expand the program in cities throughout Ukraine, reaching even more women and families.