Project Insaka

This July, The SHM Foundation is proud to announce that Project Insaka will be launched in collaboration with Zambart. This vital project will offer support to HIV positive pregnant women and new mothers in Zambia via mobile digital messaging through Rocket.Chat.

60 women will participate. 6 peer-to-peer support groups. 10 - 15 women in each private group.

Project Insaka will provide women with access to daily support as they deal with the demands of motherhood while navigating ART, mother and child health, isolation and social stigma associated with HIV.

HIV positive pregnant mothers are a highly underserved population by the social and mental health sector. In Zambia, pregnancy is often the point at which young women first discover their HIV status. This presents a number of challenges beyond the typical challenges a new mother will face, and many myths exist around HIV and motherhood. This includes addressing vital choices that mothers will make in terms of breastfeeding and child health informed by the most current standards recommended by the World Health Organization.

Insaka will create a space where issues can be openly raised and new mothers will receive the information and support needed to make informed choices.

Pairing with Zambart, a research collaboration between the University of Zambia’s School of Medicine and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, groups are tailored to suit the needs of Zambian pregnant and feeding mothers living with HIV, with an aim to improve ART adherence and prevent onward transmission. Mothers will be able to share their experiences in their own words, and advice will be provided through peer mentors that reflects expert knowledge of HIV management, sexual health and mental health.

Project Insaka is the 8th iteration of the Zumbido model. The model was developed by The SHM Foundation’s director, Anna Kydd, and SHM Production’s CEO, Maurice Biriotti, to address the social, medical and mental health implications of having HIV using digital technology. So far, the Zumbido model has been used in Mexico, South Africa, Guatemala and the UK.

In the first iteration of the Zumbio Model in Mexico, over 250,000 text messages were sent. Since then, the model has been proven to increase participants’ adherence rates to ART, and people have reported significant improvement in their mental health and sense of wellbeing.

For the first time, The SHM Foundation will partner with Rocket.Chat to provide participants with access to digital mobile phone technology. Participants will use the Rocket.Chat app, further advancing the digital health model built by SHM.

Project Insaka is being generously funded by ViiV Healthcare through a grant from Positive Action Challenges, a partnership with ViiV, United Nations’ Every Woman Every Child movement and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to address the retention of breastfeeding mothers living with HIV on ART. For more information, see:

Published on: 23-07-2018

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