Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Today is UMC #GivingTuesday and World AIDS Day. Learn how UMC #GivingTuesday donations helped prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in Nigeria.
According to UNICEF, 260,000 children became newly infected with the HIV virus worldwide in 2012. This equals about 713 children a day. But, women with HIV, who take antiretroviral medication during pregnancy, can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to their babies to less than 1 percent.

UMC Gifts Prevent Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

By Kathy Griffith*

In Nigeria, people are afraid of HIV and of each other. The stigma attached to HIV infection discourages people from being tested and makes it very difficult for partners to disclose their status others. This creates a dangerous situation for pregnant women and their unborn children because the stigma around HIV prevents them from accessing HIV prevention and treatment services.

The Rural Health Project in northeast Nigeria is making a difference in increasing access to care.  Through a grant from the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF), attendance at prenatal care has increased 80 percent. Through fixed and mobile clinics, which are open to all pregnant women, many are being tested for HIV and learning about prevention. The grant to the Rural Health Project was made possible by donations to UMGAF, including 2014 UMC #GivingTuesday donations.

The project leader described a consultation:

One of our clients was counseled and tested positive. She phoned her husband from the counseling room and told him the result. He was shocked, spoke with the counselor, and promised to come the next day. He did. He also tested HIV positive; they were counseled as HIV concordant partners, and referred for treatment.  They said, “We would still have been in darkness if our pastor had not announced that there would be an outreach offering PNC [prenatal care] services.  We wouldn’t have found out our status because clinics around us don’t offer HIV counseling and testing.”

Training and equipping

The Rural Health Project has trained 45 religious and community leaders in HIV education and advocacy, who have also pledged their ongoing support of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) program. In one area, a group of women have begun to visit the homes of ill villagers who are commonly believed to have been bewitched. They help families see their need for HIV testing, and strongly encourage them to take action.

In addition, six nursing staff and 12 traditional birth attendants were trained to work in PMTCT outreach. As a result, 2,700 pregnant women received HIV counseling and testing in the first six months of the project. Those who tested HIV-positive were referred to the closest hospital for treatment and follow-up care.

During a net distribution in October at a maternal and child health clinic in Nigeria, mothers and expectant mothers receive pre -and postnatal care.
During a net distribution in October at a maternal and child health clinic in Nigeria, mothers and expectant mothers receive pre -and postnatal care. Photo: Kathy Griffith

Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV

According to UNICEF, 260,000 children were newly infected with HIV worldwide in 2012. This equals about 713 children a day.  But, women with HIV, who take antiretroviral (ARV) medication during pregnancy, can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to their babies to less than 1 percent. The transmission rate of HIV from a positive mother to her child during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breastfeeding, without intervention, ranges from 15–45 percent.

Since this particular initiative began in 2014, UMGAF has funded 17 projects in 13 countries reaching more than 66,000 beneficiaries.  Contributions to UMGAF support many similar ventures, in addition to AIDS initiatives in the United States through the respective annual conferences of The United Methodist Church.  

Today is World AIDS Day and UMC #GivingTuesday.  Consider supporting this lifesaving work with your gifts.

UMC #GivingTuesday, Dec. 1

On Dec. 1, United Methodists will come together to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. And once again, every gift made online through The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 1, 2015, will be matched up to $1 million.**

Click here for resources.

* Kathy Griffith is the Grants Officer for Maternal and Child Health, a program area of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit, and the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund.   

** Global Ministries will allocate matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. CT. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.

Giving Tuesday News

UMC #GivingTuesday generates a record $6.5 million online with nearly 11,000 donors in 34 countries giving through The Advance.
United Methodists Give Generously During #GivingTuesday
United Methodists demonstrate inspiring generosity through their UMC #GivingTuesday contributions on Dec. 1, donating $2.8 million for mission and ministries around the world.
In Tanzania, East Africa, beekeeping is increasing the income of local churches, helping them to carry out their ministry to local communities, while becoming self-sufficient.
UMC Gifts Bring Beekeeping to Mara District
In Tanzania, East Africa, beekeeping is increasing the income of local churches, helping them to carry out their ministry to local communities, while becoming self-sufficient.
In the Dominican Republic, sharing the gospel also means helping communities gain access to clean water.
United Methodist Gifts Support “Living Water”
In the Dominican Republic, sharing the gospel also means helping communities gain access to clean water.
UMC #GivingTuesday gifts provide toilets, hygiene practices, and sanitation facilities at Emmanuel Center Nursery School in Tanzania.
UMC #GivingTuesday Gifts Aid in Sanitation for Nursery in Tanzania
UMC #GivingTuesday gifts provide toilets, hygiene practices, and sanitation facilities at Emmanuel Center Nursery School in Tanzania.
UMC gifts to Christ House Medical Services helped provide the homeless with 24-hour medical care, case management, addiction counseling, and more.
Holistic Care for the Homeless
UMC gifts to Christ House Medical Services helped provide the homeless with 24-hour medical care, case management, addiction counseling, and more.
Giving Tuesday Banner
UMC #GivingTuesday—Activate Love, Transform Lives, Change the World
On Dec. 1, United Methodists will come together for the third year to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. Get resources and learn more.
UMC #GivingTuesday donations made last year to a Ghana-based Advance project, help women start their own business in producing palm oil.
Gifts Boost Palm Oil Production, Changes Lives
UMC #GivingTuesday donations made last year to a Ghana-based Advance project, help women start their own business in producing palm oil.
During the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Child Rescue Center kept children academically-focused with newly-created educational programs, thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations.
A Source of Hope During the Ebola Crisis
During the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Child Rescue Center kept children academically-focused with newly-created educational programs, thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations.
Special needs youth in Zambia receive practical life skills training that helps them become self-reliant.
UMC #GivingTuesday Donations Impact Special Needs Children
Special needs youth in Zambia receive practical life skills training that helps them become self-reliant.
Secondary education is possible for students in Belize, thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations last year that went toward school construction.
UMC #GivingTuesday Gifts Make Education Possible in Belize
Secondary education is possible for students in Belize, thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations last year that went toward school construction.