Philani Mentor Mothers Programme
The Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Project has been addressing child health and nutrition problems in informal settlements around Cape Town since 1979.
Together with the Department of Health, the Philani Mentor Mother Programme aims to combat the health challenges faced by women living in poverty, with the aim of improving maternal and child morbidity and mortality. This community-based programme focuses on bringing a supportive and informative primary healthcare intervention into the homes of families. Trained Mentor Mothers guide mothers through the rehabilitation of their underweight children, support pregnant mothers to improve birth outcomes, decrease the number of children born with a low birth weight, and assist in the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
A randomised control trial, conducted by the University of California and Stellenbosch University from 2009, delivered and studied Philani’s Mentor Mothers home visiting programme to a cohort of pregnant women and their children, up to the age of 18 months.
The Ilifa partnership has enabled Stellenbosch University to evaluate the continuing impact of the programme on the children and their caregivers. Currently, the research study is at the stage of data collection with mothers of children who have turned five years old.
Results from earlier analysis of the research highlight the importance of intervening across multiple risks to maternal and child health (particularly maternal depression and alcohol use), to positively impact maternal and infant outcomes.
- Home visiting to improve maternal and child health
- Alcohol use, partner violence and depression
- Food insufficiency, depression, and the role of social support
- Intimate partner violence and depression among SA women during pregnancy and postpartum
- Depressed mood in pregnancy
- Philani Plus home visiting programme
- Multiple risk factors during pregnancy in SA
- Community health workers can improve child growth of antenatally-depressed SA mothers
- Outcomes of home visits for pregnant mothers and their infants
- Evaluating perinatal home visiting among SA mothers and infants
- Predictors of alcohol use prior to pregnancy recognition among township women in SA
- Re-engagement in HIV care among mothers living with HIV in SA over 36 months post-birth
- Screening for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders by non-medical community workers