An innovative testing strategy helps more people living with HIV learn their status
“Life can deceive you when you think you feel strong and healthy,” says Godfrey Justin, whose wife, Violet, tested positive for HIV during a routine antenatal visit. After sharing her status with Godfrey, Violet asked that he be tested as well. Godfrey agreed, learned he was also living with HIV and the couple started antiretroviral therapy (ART).
By Sherif Mowafy
Chantal, an HIV-positive woman, waits for her monthly supply of antiretroviral medication at the Hôpital Immaculée Conception in Haiti.Photo credit: Jean Jacques Augustin, SCMSAs the warm Haitian sun comes up, Chantal leaves her four children behind to get her HIV treatment, traveling for three hours in the back of a crowded jeep.
She bumps over unpaved roads to her monthly visit for antiretrovirals, one that she has been doing routinely for several years to keep her disease at bay.
We spoke with MSH’s Chryste D. Best, BS, product quality assurance manager, The Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), about her selection as one of the top 300 women leaders in global health by the Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Best provides innovative quality assurance oversight for the global procurement of medicines and commodities by MSH and partners.
When Mearege gets really sick, her husband leaves town. Bedridden and in the care of her parents, Mearege gets tested and learns she--and her daugther--are HIV-positive. Through the support of mother mentors, trained by the Ethiopia Network for HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care and Support Program (ENHAT-CS), Mearege finds solace, guidance, and healing -- and decides to have another child.
The Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), established in 2005 under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) administered by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), supplies lifesaving medicines to HIV & AIDS programs around the world and is led by the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), a nonprofit organization established by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and John Snow, Inc. SCMS first established a presence in Haiti in 2007. MSH manages SCMS operations in Haiti.
The first Lesotho National Conference on Vulnerable Children, December 8-11, 2014, was organized by the Government of Lesotho, with support from US Agency for International Development (USAID)/The US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through Management Sciences for Health’s Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa Project, and in collaboration with UNICEF, UNAIDS, and other development partners.
This post originally appeared on the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE) as "The role of the private sector in responding to OVC issues". As we travelled to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, I had mixed emotions about the National Conference on Vulnerable Children I was going to attend. Issues of orphans and vulnerable children are very close to my heart, as I have first-hand experience of growing up with a cousin who is an orphan due to HIV and AIDS.
On the eve of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014), Rachel Hassinger, editor of MSH’s Global Health Impact Blog, spoke with Dr. Scott Kellerman, global technical lead on HIV & AIDS, to discuss his latest research on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and pediatric HIV & AIDS. Kellerman and colleagues will be attending AIDS 2014, July 20-25, in Melbourne, Australia. (Read more about the conference.)
The availability of new and essential medicines and other health technologies to treat life-threatening illnesses have helped millions of people lead long and productive lives. However, global availability does not necessarily mean access by the end-consumer to these lifesaving health products in low-and middle-income countries. Effective supply chains are needed to deliver these health products in hard-to-reach, resource-constrained settings that often times are inhospitable to collaborative, high-performing supply chain systems.
So how do we get safe, quality, essential medicines and commodities to the people who need them, at the right time and in the right quantities?
Four Ethiopian HIV-positive mothers received 2014 REAL Awards for their outstanding contributions to the fight against HIV, particularly prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), at a ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 10, 2014. Created by Save the Children and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, the REAL Awards are designed to develop greater respect and appreciation for health workers and the lifesaving care they provide globally, as well as in the United States.
Meet Tsegay, Haile, Alemayehu, and Derebrew
Pablos-Méndez Applauds and Encourages MSH Representatives and Partners at DC Country Health Impact Fair
Representatives from 13 MSH countries—Afghanistan, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda—shared stories and materials about the lives saved and health impact of MSH’s work, in partnership with US Agency for International Development (USAID) and others, at the MSH Country Health Impact Fair at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, last week. Country ownership and health impact were common themes at the fair. Ariel Pablos-Méndez (MD, MPH), assistant administrator for global health at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), addressed participants and attendees.
MSH staff are commemorating World TB Day through awareness-raising activities around the globe, including in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Here are photos (some from 2013) with activities this year.
Afghanistan - TB CARE I
This post originally appeared on the LMGforHealth Blog.
In discussions around the importance of country ownership of health-related activities and initiatives, both Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project are committed to making sure that the role of civil society is taken into consideration and promoted, in line with USAID Forward’s drive to engage and strengthen local capacity.
Every year, billions of US dollars’ worth of medicines are purchased by or through international procurement agencies, NGOS–such as UNICEF, UNITAID, The Global Fund, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)–and governments for use in developing countries. The World Health Organization’s (WHO's) PreQualification of Medicines Programme (PQP) helps ensure that these medicines meet acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy.
SCMS and MSH at the forefront of efforts to remove supply chain barriers to the scale up of HIV/AIDS treatment programs For many of us in the developed world, it is easy to overlook the critical role that well-functioning supply chains play in effective healthcare. When supply chains are operating as they should, we take for granted that the medicines we need will be in stock and available.
This post originally appeared on USAID’s IMPACT blog. USAID is observing World AIDS Day this year by celebrating ten years of HIV and AIDS work under PEPFAR.
More than 85,000 infants in Nigeria are at risk of HIV transmission from their mothers every year. While the number of HIV-positive pregnant women who receive antiretroviral treatment (ART) is increasing, robust efforts to improve coverage are needed if national targets (PDF) for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) are to be met in 2015.
OVCsupport.net, a global knowledge sharing website, is announcing its second annual writing contest, open to all those who have a story to tell about working with children affected by HIV and AIDS. The annual competition is one component of OVCsupport.net’s efforts to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences between people who are working in the field of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). The top three submissions will be featured on the site and in the August edition of the site’s electronic newsletter.
Strengthening health systems at all levels is the core of MSH’s response to the HIV epidemic. We build organizational capacity to implement innovative HIV, prevention, care, and treatment interventions in over 35 countries---from Côte d'Ivoire to Ethiopia to Vietnam.
In 2005, "Chima" abandoned "Sinachi" and their four children to marry another woman. Heartbroken and unemployed, Sinachi returned to her home village and became a farmer. Although she worked hard, Sinachi’s children often went hungry and did not attend school for three years because she was unable to pay the fees.
This week’s Lancet returns the spotlight to Option B+, an innovative strategy for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV which was first developed in Malawi with technical assistance from MSH. Four letters respond to the concern that international organizations have too quickly endorsed the Option B+ approach of providing lifelong triple antiretroviral therapy (ART), irrespective of CD4 count, to pregnant women with HIV in high-burden countries.
Sunday, March 24, 2013, is World TB Day, and MSH staff and partners are promoting global efforts to stop TB throughout the week.Here are highlights from some of our activities around the world:The Afghanistan TB CARE I team is working with the national TB program (NTP) to conduct celebration events at 290 health facilities and communities in 13 USAID-supported provinces. TB messages will be aired through local telephone companies to approximately one million people throughout the nation.
Silenat Yihune, a 40-year-old woman, mother, and housewife, lives in a remote region of Huletejuenesie District, Ethiopia, which is approximately 20 kilometers from the closest health facility. For nine months Silenat suffered from a cough, chest pain, fever, and weight loss, but was unable to receive treatment. As is common among Ethiopian families, Silenat was economically dependent upon her husband. He refused to pay for her travel to the distant health facility.
Integrating the Leadership Development Program into Guyana's national nursing school training (watch video): Guyana HIV/AIDS Reduction and Prevention, phase two (GHARP II), a PEPFAR-funded and USAID-supported project.Developing Strong Health Leaders Saves Lives, the newest edition of MSH's Global Health Impact e-newsletter (subscribe), features:a conversation with Jonathan Quick and Sylvia Vriesendorp on strong women health leaders;an interview with Xavier Alterescu on the next horizons of leadership: gender, decentralized governance, and building organizational capacity for networking;a blog
Shelly has always been very athletic. She competed in both her high school track events and in community races in her hometown of Essequibo, Guyana. In 2010, she was ecstatic after winning a cash prize for placing first in an annual regional championship. However, her life took a turn one year later.Shelly became pregnant and, during an antenatal care appointment, tested positive for HIV. The news devastated her, as she believed that an HIV diagnosis meant her athletic career was over.
In recent years, Haiti has endured some of the greatest misfortunes in its history, including hurricanes, floods, the devastating 2010 earthquake, and the cholera epidemic that followed. These natural disasters and public health crises have added to the harm already caused by the country’s widespread poverty, social and political unrest, and under-resourced health system.
I got a call from the resident doctor to come to exam room 6. As soon as I entered the room, I prepared myself. The little girl, 7- or maybe 8-years-old, didn't look well; she was “floppy,” combative, and not entirely aware of where she was or what we were doing to her. She was HIV-positive, and my colleague needed to get an IV line in her arm to test the latest in experimental treatments for kids with HIV– and needed the four of us interns to help hold her still.It was 1993 during my residency in pediatrics in Cleveland, Ohio.
In January 2011, Amelia and her partner, Luke --- both HIV positive --- began accessing HIV care and support services at the Agape Network through its community home and palliative care program.Agape Network is one of the NGOs that receives technical support from the PEPFAR-funded, USAID-implemented, Guyana HIV/AIDS Reduction and Prevention Project (GHARP II), led by MSH.When the Agape staff first met Luke and Amelia, they were living with their two daughters at Luke’s family’s home.
Sheba Joshua became the head of her household at just 18 years of age, when she lost her parents to AIDS. She is responsible for seven siblings and her blind grandmother and earns money by running a catering business out of her home in Gombe State, Nigeria. Becoming the main caregiver for an entire family at that age would have been a daunting experience for most teenagers, but Sheba was not fazed.
Seasoned HIV & AIDS experts gathered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Saturday evening, July 21, to weigh in on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on the eve of the XIX International AIDS Conference, dubbed "AIDS 2012".The conference is taking place in the USA for the first time in 20 years thanks to President Obama’s lifting of the travel ban on HIV-positive visitors.“What has been PEPFAR’s strategic significance?”An illustrious panel including Ambassador Eric Goosby (United States Global AIDS Coordinator),
Securing funds from donors and partners can be challenging for Nigerian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), given the nation’s large pool of competing organizations. In order to earn funds, NGOs must have strong proposal writing skills, the ability to defend their proposals, and efficient operational capacity.The Global Health Awareness Research Foundation (GHARF) is a community-based organization operating in Enugu state in southeastern Nigeria.
Cross-posted on TB-CARE I.World TB Day, March 24th, was commemorated in many countries around the world last week to acknowledge the accomplishments made in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), and to call attention to the work that still needs to be done.Voices of TB, a unique event organized by USAID, featured former TB patients speaking about their personal fight against TB.
Yvonise is a good-natured 40-year-old woman with an easy smile. She is mother to four children: two boys and two girls. Her youngest, a little girl, is six years old.
Today, Yvonise sits patiently at the pharmacy of Hôpital Immaculée Conception de Port-de-Paix (HIC Port-de-Paix) in Haiti, waiting for Miss Sevrine, her caregiver, to provide her with a month’s supply of life-saving medicine.
Thirty years ago, we learned of a disease that began with a few cases and quickly transformed into an epidemic the world had not seen before. We were not exactly sure what it was, how it was spread, or how to care for people who had it. HIV & AIDS has had a dramatic impact on the world – and especially on people in low and middle income countries.
News from the HIV Capacity Building Partners Summit in Nairobi, KenyaSub Saharan Africa still remains the unenviable epicenter of the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Over the years, the region has witnessed intensified emergency efforts to expand access to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support.
Every day people are dying in the developing world because they cannot access affordable, quality medicines. Modern pharmaceuticals have revolutionized health care, but weak health systems prevent many people from accessing basic life-saving medicines. The health of men, women, and children can be dramatically improved throughout the world by enhancing access to and improving the use of essential medicines and other health care technologies.Gaps in the management and availability of essential medicines and health commodities have been a constant weakness for developing countries.
MSH is attending the Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference in Cape Town this week. AIDSTAR-Two, a USAID-funded MSH led project, is a key organizer of the conference. Ghazal Keshavarzian, Better Care Network Senior Coordinator, provides an update from the Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. This post originally appeared on OVCsupportnet.org.