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Born to be Healthy: Medicus Mundi Italia wins Brighter Future Award for work on HIV prevention and education in Kenya

Penta’s Brighter Future Award is a global initiative aiming to celebrate those who work to improve health outcomes for pregnant people and children living with infectious diseases worldwide. Organisations and researchers are nominated and an experienced jury selects those to be chosen for the award. The award is an opportunity to honour the work done by the winners to enhance the health of pregnant people, children and young people.

This year, Medicus Mundi Italia (MMI) won the Brighter Future Award within the Europe category, for their work in Kenya through the Born to be Healthy project. It was noted in particular that, "Medicus Mundi enhances health and social services in resource-limited countries, focusing on prevention and education on maternal and child health.”

Born to be healthy is a project that centres on the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Nairobi County, Kenya, and is part of the global fight against the spread of HIV, HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Without antiretroviral treatment, HIV transmission rate during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding is as high as 15-45%. However, when treated this risk declines to approximately 1% (Kenya Framework for Elimination of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis, 2016-2021). Mother to child transmission accounts for 95% of transmissions to children, and the mortality rate of those infected is 50% by two years of age.

The UNIVR team is involved within the BTBH project to research and understand which trends and factors inhibit early HIV diagnosis in infants in Kenya. Currently the study is still in the initial phases, however UNIVR will support the drafting of the research design, and co-ordination of the investigation as well as completing the analysis of the data. This will enable the dissemination of evidence to improve the implementation of services and help to design future tailored approaches thus helping to design future interventions at both healthcare and community levels to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV and improve early infant diagnosis.

Medicus Mundi Italia (MMI) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) specialising in international health cooperation. The NGO’s mission is to promote the holistic wellbeing of individuals through the implementation of comprehensive social and health programmes, supporting access to health care as an essential right (according to the 1978 Declaration of Alma Ata), especially when it comes to economically disadvantaged populations and those facing conditions of non-integration and high vulnerability. For over 50 years, MMI has been dedicated to improving the quality and efficiency of social and health services in resource-limited countries. In recent years, MMI has focused its efforts in sub-Saharan Africa, concentrating on projects that focus on basic community health, preventive measures, health education, maternal and child health, the fight against malnutrition, the fight against major infectious diseases (HIV, tuberculosis and malaria) and the training of community health volunteers.


Learn more about Penta’s Brighter Future Award here: 

Find out more about Medicus Mundi Italia here:

Read more about the Born to be Healthy project here: 


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