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Adress: 89A Fontanka emb., Unit 20-N, St. Petersburg, 190031, Russia
Tel/Fax +7(812) 380-30-92
E-mail: info@vd-spb.ru
web-site: doctors2children.ru

МАМА+: Assistance to HIV-affected Families with Young Children

HIV/AIDS epydemic in St. Petersburg reflects the all-country tendencies, oftentimes leaving them behind. The number of HIV-positive women, including pregnant women, and children born to them is growing fast. As of the end of 2008, 2,984 children were born to HIV-positive mothers in St Petersburg. HIV-positive women constitute the group of high risk of child abandonment. The reasons for this include low socio-economic status, use of drugs, HIV status, family conflicts, lack of housing and registration, and thus problems accessing social and medical services. In order to provide her child with care, an HIV-positive mother needs assistance in resolving housing and family problems, regaining documents, registering for welfare support, accessing treatment, and getting employed.

In 2004, based on the experience and methodology of the global human rights organization HealthRight International, Doctors to Children and HealthRight Representative office in Russia developed the MАМА+ Project to provide comprehensive services to HIV-affected families with young children and prevent child abandonment. In 2006, Doctors to Children in partnership with the City Children’s Infectious Diseases Hospital #3 established the Center of comprehensive services fo HIV-positive mothers with babies and young children with a daycare facility for children. In 2007, Doctors to Children and HealthRight in partnership with the Kalininsky District Administration established the Halfway House for HIV-positive Women with Young Children. It is designed to accomodate 6 mothers with children under 3 years old at a time.

Project Goal: retain family support for children born to HIV-postitive women.

Project Activities:

• Early identification of HIV-positive women at-risk od abandoning their children;
• Active patronage, including home visits to provide services and training to HIV-positive mothers and ther family memebers;
• MAMA+ Comprehensive Counseling and Daycare Center;
• Halway House for HIV-positive Women with Children;
• Group of peer volunteers from among former project clients, providing assistance to HIV-positive mothers and their family memebers;
• School of palliative care for volunteers and family members of HIV-postive women;
• Peer support groups for HIV-postive women and their family memebers.

Social Assistance:

• Restoration of lost documents;
• Paperwork to register for documents and benefits in connection with birth of child;
• Assitance in resolution of guardianship issues;
• Assistance in child enrolment in a pre-school educational institution;
• Assistance in training and employment;
• Material assistance (food, baby formulas, child care sypplies, medication for mothers and children)- in crisis situations.

Psychological Assistance:

• Individual counseling for women and their family members;
• Counseling on HIV/AIDS isues;
• Vocational guidance;
• Training for mothers on conducting child development sessions;
• Provision of information and consultations to guardians and foster parents;
• Peer support groups for family members of HIV-positive women with children and volunteers.

Medical Assistance:

• Referrals for lab tests and functional diagnostics;
• Escorts to the AIDS center and other health care institutions.

MAMA+ Daycare Center

• Counseling with a psychologist specializing in the development of children 0 to 3 years old:
- child development assessment,
- child development sessions and games,
- counseling on child raising and development issues for mothers;
• Daycare services for children;
• Training sessions on health-improving massage for children;
• Peer support groups for mothers and their family memebers;
• HIV-tests for children.

Halfway House for HIV-positive Women with Children

Provision of safe temporary residence;
Social and legal assistance;
Psychological assistance;
Counseling on child development issues, training on engaging children in developmental games, and adjustment of mother-child interactions.

Volunteer Services

• Provision of information to volunteers and involvement of volunteers to the project;
• Peer counseling (diagnosis acceptancy, ARV therapy, adherence to treatment);
• Assistance to HIV-positive women with children and their families through home visits and at the MAMA+ Center;
• Follow-up services.


Guidebook on Retaining Family Support for HIV-affected Children  Download (pdf) Download attachements

1-4, 5, 6-11, 12-18 (pdf)

Series of educational brochures for mothers on child development issues

"Developmental Specifics of Children 0 to 1 Years of Age" (pdf, 1,5Мб)
"What a Future Mother Should Know about HIV” (pdf, 0,9Мб)
"Supplemental Feeding" (pdf, 0,9Мб)
"Disbacteriosis" (pdf, 0,6Мб)
"Baby Skin Care" (pdf, 0,7Мб)

Project Results in 2011:

• Family support was retained for 151 children born to HIV-positive women in St. Petersburg  and Leningrad Region;
• 146 families received psychosocial services;
• 19 women with children became clients of the MAMA+ Halfway House;
• former MAMA+ Project clients devoted 1,500 hours to the provision of assistance to other HIV-positive women with young children on a voluntary basis.

Success stories

  • Alyona


    The mother of three children, Alyona learned about her HIV status four years ago before a kidney surgery. She was hard hit by this news, but was able to cope with it successfully. Shortly before she enrolled into MAMA+, Alyona had given birth to a beautiful baby girl. 12.10.2012 More
  • M•A•C Cosmetics Volunteers

    M•A•C Cosmetics Volunteers

    In August, the MAMA+ Halfway House was visited by a team of professional make-up artists from M•A•C Cosmetics, all working in M•A•C shops in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 17.08.2010 More