UNICEF is urging Kiwis to show their mum they care this Mother’s Day with a gift that is helping thousands of mothers in the developing world protect their babies from HIV.
With 1,400 infants infected with HIV during pregnancy, delivery or while being breastfed every day, UNICEF NZ has added a new Mother-Baby pack to its Inspired Gift collection. The pack contains the medicines needed to stop HIV being transmitted from mother to baby.
UNICEF NZ Executive Director, Dennis McKinlay, says that it is essential for every woman who needs to, to be able to access this intervention.
“Because we know what we need to do, and we know how effective these interventions are, our aim is for an HIV-free generation.
“Without medical intervention, at least half of these babies will die before their second birthday. But these are precious lives that can be saved through relatively simple measures.
“The medicines already exist to make a difference, but the real challenge is to ensure their availability to women during the course of pregnancy, labour and following birth.
“Logistical challenges, including weak health systems and difficulties for mothers to travel to faraway health centres, make it difficult for these mothers and their babies to access the life-saving help they need.
“UNICEF has come up with the Mother-Baby pack as an innovative way to give a pregnant woman all the antiretroviral medicines and antibiotics necessary to prevent transmission of the HIV virus to her infant, with just one visit to an antenatal clinic.”
The Mother-Baby pack features simple, colour-coded instructions so that a mother can follow her regimen without regular supervision from a doctor.
“I would strongly urge Kiwis to think about adding the Mother-Baby pack to their shopping list this Mother’s Day. The pack will go to a mother in the developing world, while your Mum will receive a card detailing the gift. There is nothing that says ‘I love you Mum’ quite like a gift that will save a child’s life.”
The Mother-Baby pack is available for $127.40 from UNICEF NZ’s Inspired Gifts website: www.inspiredgifts.org.nz
UNICEF NZ has a range of Inspired Gifts to suit all budgets, including life-saving therapeutic milk ($17), measles vaccines ($47.50), and a baby scale ($69).
Mr McKinlay says people can also donate directly to UNICEF NZ’s fundraising appeal aimed at keeping children safe from HIV www.unicef.org.nz