We are delighted to be launching Ladyblabla, a mobile phone comparison site with a mission to fight mother-to-baby HIV transmission in southern Africa. (UK only, for now.)
Across Southern Africa, where healthcare provision is patchy, mother-to-baby HIV transmission is common. It's largely preventable, but prevention involves doing lots of little things right. It's hard to stay on track.
A charity called mothers2mothers is having great success with a new approach. They train mentor mothers - local HIV-positive mums - to be a layer of front-line support for new mothers.
Ladyblabla uses the bounty revenue paid on phones in the UK to equip mentor mothers with phones and data contracts in Africa. As Thandeka, a mentor mother, explains:
The chance of HIV transmission can be reduced – but it is a complicated process and many of my women lead difficult lives without much in the way of access to resources. I help them do the things they need to do to give them a better chance, from ensuring they take the right medicine at the right time, to making informed choices about breastfeeding and helping them attend clinic and have regular tests.
With a smartphone I could do even more. I could be much more effective in keeping track of the women and babies that I help. I could access medical records from the hospital database via internet and have accurate up-to-date information at my finger tips. When was the last time someone came to a support group? When is their baby due? What drugs do they take? When should their baby’s test results be available? Having all this information readily accessible, and immediately available to be discussed with the HIV mothers themselves means I could save more lives.
We think this is an awesome cause. We've been really impressed with the professionalism and efficiency of mothers2mothers in all our dealings with them.
So, if you've got a friend who never gets round to upgrading their phone, point them in the direction of Ladyblabla. Not only will they find all the best smartphone deals on the market, they'll also be helping prevent mother-to-baby HIV transmission in southern Africa.
A smartphone makes life better.