MSH’s health care project in South Africa gains $6 million extension until 2010
CAMBRIDGE, MA — The Integrated Primary Health Care (IPHC) Project in South Africa has been awarded a $6 million cost extension by USAID, extending the program through December 30, 2010. Dr. Diana Silimperi, Vice President for the Center for Health Services at MSH, says the extension will allow the project to continue its successes in reducing the transmission and impact of HIV & AIDS, strengthening support for orphans and vulnerable children, expanding the promotion of family planning and maternal health, and strengthening local health delivery systems overall in South African states. The IPHC project began in July 2004, building off the EQUITY Project (1997–2003). Working primarily with the National and Provincial Departments of Health, the project focuses on working to improve access to and use of child health, reproductive health, and HIV & AIDS services across South Africa. From 2006 to 2007, more than 45,000 clients received HIV & AIDS counseling and testing, surpassing the project’s goal of 35,000. In that same period, more than 22,000 patients were provided with antiretroviral treatment in supported facilities, increasing the targeted number by one-third. Eighty-eight thousand pregnant women came in for prenatal visits, nearly 19,000 children were fully immunized, and roughly 50,000 South African youth were given family planning and reproductive health education. IPHC works in five of the country’s nine provinces—Easter Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West—to establish systems of “district charters” that use performance-based management in the public sector to strengthen community-based approaches to health.