SAATHII's work since 2002 to expand Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programs in the private healthcare sector (see here), has made us aware of challenges in reaching out to pregnant women living with HIV, and mother-baby pairs, in order to ensure timely initiation of anti-retroviral treatment for the mothers, prophylaxis for the infant, and completion of Early Infant Diagnosis and other steps in the cascade.
Problems related to timely completion and retention in the PPTCT cascade are pervasive. They are particularly acute when women seek antenatal care in the private healthcare sector and need to visit multiple points of care (maternity, pediatrics, government integrated counseling and testing centres (ICTC) and ART centres).
In 2016, SAATHII began a partnership with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to launch m-Maitri under the Connect for LifeTM initiative. The m-Maitri program aims to complement on-the-ground efforts at ensuring retention in the PPTCT cascade with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to consenting pregnant women and mother-baby pairs until the babies reach 18 months of age.
The project is being implemented in partnership with Mahiti Infotech and IMI Mobile. It is initially being rolled out in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with content in Telugu, and will be scaled up to other states and languages (Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil) shortly.