USA (MNN) — HIV-positive mothers in underdeveloped areas like Samfya, Zambia, face a difficult and often heart-breaking decision in the development of their newborn babies. The longer an HIV-positive mother breastfeeds, the more likely she is to infect her baby. As babies turn 6 months old, they are traditionally weaned off of breast-feeding and onto solid foods.
When the mother is HIV-positive, this transition significantly increases the risk of transmission of HIV from mother to child. The child's digestive system often has a difficult time adapting to the available solid food, which can result in stomach ulcers and sores that increase the risk of transmission, or other conditions such as diarrhea that can be devastating to an already malnourished child. Without options, these mothers face the daily risk of transmitting the disease to the baby just through feeding.
The general consensus in the relief community is that replacement feeding is the only 100% effective way to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV after birth. Use of canned formula mixed with boiled water dramatically lessens the opportunities for HIV and waterborne illnesses to compromise the baby's health. Formula is also much less harsh on the baby's digestive system. With cost-effective formula now available, and training about how to properly use that formula, the risk of infection is reduced or eliminated, providing peace of mind to the mothers, and health for the children.
Formula + Education = Change
Join Bright Hope International and Formula for Change as they deliver hope to mothers and health to babies in some of the poorest regions of the world.
Bright Hope is partnering with Formula for Change, an organization committed to minimizing the transmission of HIV from mother to child by providing baby formula as a cost-effective and healthy alternative.
$22 a month will send two cans of formula each month to Bright Hope's partner in Zambia, who will work with local women and families to give their babies the best possible chance for a healthy childhood.