Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Goals of the program:

• To decrease the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV through formula feeding within the first year of life up to 40%.

• Providing resources to create a safe water system that aids in the tolerance of baby formula and assist in the reduction of diarrheal illnesses.

• Work with non-governmental organizations to prevent duplication of services while improving program participation by the patients and their providers.

• Providing Co-trimoxazole to infants beginning at 6 weeks of age to decrease infections bacterial and parasitic.

• Providing mothers with developmental, nurtrional and health education.

AIDS, bottle feeding and MICP

The babies’ mothers in the MICP program have HIV and AIDS. Daily they face a brutal stigma and are ostracized just because they bottle-feed their newborns. Bottle-feeding is counter-culture and scandalous in Zambia and throughout much of Africa.
Women who do, sometimes are considered prostitutes, cheaters and unfit mothers. Bottle-feeding also informs their society that they have HIV. Yet, more and more brave women in Mongu are choosing to bottle-feed their babies, thus saving lives and preventing the transmission of HIV.
Through the Mother & Infant Care Program, women are learning that having HIV and breastfeeding could kill the babies whom they love.

The Mother & Infant Care Program (MICP) is a comprehensive program in Mongu, Zambia and provides infant formula for the babies’ first year of life. And to think it all started with my dear friend Dorinda Escamilla who is a dedicated nurse at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa in San Antonio, Texas, after she meet with Sister Walter Maher to learn more about the needs of the Zambian people, it is incredible what could come out when compassionate people put their heads together to work to help others!.

The program not only provides infant formula, it is also about providing education and supplies to help the mothers maintain their babies healthy.