mMitra Customised HIV/AIDS Program is a free automated voice call service (in the local language) that sends preventive care information to the enrolled HIV+ pregnant women and the mothers of infants. These messages, specific to the women’s gestational age and culturally appropriate, are delivered, in their chosen language and timeslot, throughout the antenatal period and infancy.
Maharashtra has made a great progress in reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the last decade. We wish to strengthen the efforts of the state and empower the positive mothers (pregnant & lactating) through this new voice call service. Supplementing MDACs and its initiatives, program aims to function to assure no follow-up is lost. The programme envisions reducing vertical transmission by empowering the positive mothers with the right information and knowledge, motivating them to be compliant to their treatment regime.
In various studies across the globe, it has been observed that non-adherence to medication was high among most HIV positive individuals who missed doses of their medications for various reasons. Non-adherence can be addressed with proper counselling and motivation.
According to the WHO recommendations adopted by the Department of AIDS Control (DAC), counselling on positive living, safe delivery, HIV testing of spouse and other living children, linkage to ART services, nutrition counselling, EBF reinforcement, services for exposed children and most importantly, adherence to treatment, is of paramount importance.
The mMitra Customised HIV/AIDS Program aims to support through mobile phone-based customized voice call services focused on counselling, medication voice reminders and medication defaulter tracking services to the women who test HIV positive during pregnancy until the child is 18 months of age; thus hand holding them through the care process to prevent vertical transmission of HIV/AIDS. The target women would be empowered with critical information like importance of adhering to ART, positive living, right nutrition, feeding of the child and other important guidance.
Reduce the vertical transmission rate of HIV/AIDS from mother to child to zero.
To enroll 3000 HIV positive women in two years and provide them complete services from pregnancy until the child’s HIV status is known at 18 months of age.
Since it is a sensitive issue, we plan to implement through an indirect enrolment approach. IEC materials of mMitra used by our ‘Sakhis’ at mMitra desks at hospitals and in communities will contain a section on the Zero Vertical programme, highlighting the benefits for the positive mothers and also the dedicated phone number for them to give a missed call, register and to avail services under Zero Vertical programme. Also, referral by MDACs, Shakthi clinics and CBOs working with HIV communities will help our call centre employees reach out to the positive mothers and enrol them under the programme.
Early ANC registration: Currently, under mMitra programme, the ‘Sakhis’ reach out the pregnant women in the community to enrol under the programme. With this new HIV initiative, the Sakhis will reinforce the women to register their pregnancy with the health facility in the first trimester. This will ensure that the women get the mandatory HIV testing done along with the ANC registration.
Early detection: Early ANC registration and HIV testing will help in early detection of HIV. Early detection in turns helps in early start of the ART regime for PPTCT. Early start of ART administration during pregnancy increases probability for successful PPTCT.
1) Confidentiality maintained with the use 4 digit pin to access voice calls
2) No physical interaction/direct meet with the target beneficiaries
3) Female employees of dedicated call centre will be trained completely and sensitized and monitored by a dedicated supervisor.
The programme is currently being implemented in Pune District and Delhi as a small pilot, following which we are expanding to Mumbai.
Women Enrolled: 507