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Bright Hope provides canned formula to prevent HIV spread

By January 24, 2011

Zambia (MNN) — About 15 percent of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) occurs as a result of breastfeeding, says UNICEF.

The risk of MTCT increases significantly after the sixth-month point of breastfeeding. "Breastfeeding for six months has about one third of the risk of breastfeeding for 2 years," UNICEF reports.

At the six-month point in Zambia, many women traditionally wean their children onto solid foods. For mothers living on less than one dollar each day, however, they simply cannot afford to pay extra to nourish their babies. Unfortunately, continued breastfeeding from HIV positive mothers can endanger the health of their children.

Canned baby formula mixed with boiling water is an easy prevention tool of MTCT, but many women can't afford the formula, either.

Disturbed that HIV is spreading to children for the sole reason that mothers can't afford not to breastfeed, Bright Hope International has partnered with Formula for Change to save innocent children from becoming infected.

The two organizations are together sending cans of formula to partners in Samfya, Zambia, who will work with local HIV-positive women and their families, in order to give their babies the best possible chance for a healthy childhood. Bright Hope works closely with the local church, who can work to bring these women the hope of the Gospel as well.

It only costs $15 to provide one month's worth of formula for a child. That means it's just $90 to provide the child with enough nourishment for six months. Click here to provide nourishment for a child. You will be the hands and feet of Christ as you help prevent the spread of HIV.

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