Highlights from World AIDS Day 2017 - MSH around the world

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

On this World AIDS Day, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) honors those who have been affected by HIV and AIDS and recommits to working with governments, the private sector, and communities to prevent new infections and reach all people living with HIV with high-quality, patient-centered care. As we reflect on our global successes in scaling up HIV prevention and treatment efforts and averting new infections, we stand in solidarity with the many people around the world who are still being denied their right to health. We join the campaign to ensure health systems protect human rights.

Nigeria

In partnership with Nigeria’s Ministry of Health and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), MSH launched a mobile app making the national guidelines for HIV prevention, care, and treatment accessible to clinicians, health workers, and people living with HIV across the nation. The first of its kind, innovative app places the new guidelines in the hands of those fighting the AIDS epidemic, enhancing their application, and improving the delivery of quality services for people living with HIV.

The app was launched at an event chaired by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr. Boss Mustapha, with representation from members of parliament, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, and representatives from United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, and networks of people living with HIV. The app is being rolled out across 5 states through MSH’s Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) project, funded by USAID, and is available free for download.   

Malawi

The Umodzi Family Center, an HIV and tuberculosis family clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, officially opens on World AIDS Day with the support of MSH through funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new facility will become a Center of Excellence in Blantyre and be able to serve twice as many clients at the hospital with high-quality services. The opening of this clinic marks another major milestone in the national HIV program.

The Umodzi Family Center will offer more comprehensive HIV services for HIV prevention, care, and treatment, including enhanced screening and management for patients with advanced HIV. Access to critical services will be integrated into HIV care so that patients have a “one-stop shop” which includes screening, care, and treatment for tuberculosis and management and targeted reproductive health services. The center will provide primary care and referral-level HIV services, and address clinical and psychosocial patient needs to reduce barriers to care. The clinic will offer a strategic mix of approaches that have been developed and refined by the Malawian nonprofit organization Lighthouse at its centers of excellence in Lilongwe and have been proven to address the specific requirements of people living with HIV, shifting from a focus on acute care to chronic care as people living with HIV have normal life expectancies.

MSH oversaw final construction of the clinic and provided furniture and medical equipment. The funding includes salary support for frontline health workers and support staff for HIV testing, care, and treatment, coordinated through Lighthouse and the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine. The center will serve as a regional and national site for innovations in service delivery, training, and mentorship.

Angola

In the lead up to World AIDS Day, MSH has joined the month-long campaign against AIDS hosted by the Angolan Government in partnership with the National Institute in the Fight against AIDS (INLS) and partners, to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS and promote prevention, care, and treatment efforts throughout the province of Luanda. Through our work on the USAID Health for All (HFA) Project, MSH is establishing a sustainable model for providing high-quality HIV and AIDS services through the prevention, care, and treatment continuum, in support of the government’s efforts to maintain the country’s relatively low HIV prevalence.

In addition, in partnership with UNDP and the Global Fund, and USAID and FHI360 through the LINKAGES program, MSH is working with communities of sex workers to support testing and counseling for people living with HIV and AIDS, and engaging with members of the police force to raise awareness of gender-based violence and build capacity for recognizing signs of abuse and reporting and treating cases.

MSH and our team of dedicated community counselors and patient assistant facilitators will join a national march for solidarity on December 2nd on the streets of the capital city of Luanda.  

Namibia

A series of discussions hosted by the Ministry of Health will focus on strengthening cross-border collaboration to combat HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis across the region. Ministerial delegations from Angola, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa will attend the events, as well as representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the U.S. Ambassador and UN Agencies. In Namibia, MSH, through the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program funded by USAID, has helped the Ministry of Health maintain access to quality-assured HIV pharmaceutical products and services, and to build local capacity for improved health care. 

Washington, D.C.

On World AIDS Day, MSH will join a panel discussion and reception hosted by Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and the Business Council for International Understanding, to discuss increasing impact through transparency, accountability, and partnerships.

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