Championing healthy relationships

and sexual wellbeing

Mother Buddies in Uganda

The Mother Buddy scheme run by ACET in Uganda involves 50 women, who are living with HIV, providing support for pregnant women. The Mother Buddies help the women access antenatal care services, and, using mobile phone apps, educate them on how to improve their own health as well as their babies’, including how to prevent mother to child HIV transmission.

The scheme has the blessing of district medical officials giving the Mother Buddies confidence to carry out this work in their communities, where they are now known as resource persons, creating a high demand for their services.

In Mbale, over 58% of the pregnant women being supported by Mother Buddies are teenagers. Support for these teen mothers is a difficult journey in a community  and culture which initially wishes to punish and make an example of these girls. This indicates the need for sexual and reproductive health education for young people -   and the wider community. 16 year old Namataka Evaline tells her story:

“When I told my parents that I was pregnant, they were very tough and started mistreating me. I was treated as if I was not their child. I thought that the world had come to an end because the boy who made me pregnant had also refused responsibility. But I thank Aunt Stella (my Mother Buddy) who encouraged me and supported me to go to the health centre for antenatal care services. She also talked to my parents and advised them to give me the necessary support I needed. I am very happy now. When the time reached to give birth, I delivered a healthy baby and am also in good health. My parents have also promised that when the baby grows up, they are willing to take me back to school.”

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