Care, Treatment, and Support for Children Infected or Affected by HIV & AIDS
An estimated 3.4 million children are living with HIV and 1,000 more are infected each day. HIV is more aggressive in children, with half of them dying before the age of two. Although improved prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programming has helped to reduce the number of HIV infections in children, there are still large numbers of children without access to proper HIV care and treatment, particularly in resource-limited settings. In response to the low uptake of HIV services among children, MSH is working with partners at programmatic and policy levels to scale up innovative programming and influence policy to minimize the impact of HIV on children, including orphans and vulnerable children. MSH is also an active participant in the Inter Agency Task Team for Prevention and Treatment of HIV Infection in Pregnant Women, Mother and Children, which is co-chaired by the World Health Organization and UNICEF and includes over 28 multilateral, government, and non-governmental organizations that work together to improve the survival of pregnant women, mothers, and children living with HIV. MSH’s HIV experts regularly publish research and recommendations related to pediatric HIV issues.
Community Based Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CUBS) Project
Through the CUBS project, MSH is improving the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria by integrating a currently fragmented service delivery system, mobilizing community support, and raising awareness around the issues and needs of vulnerable children and their caregivers. Many Nigerian families have been heavily affected by HIV & AIDS and require strong support systems to recover their health, psychological well-being, and economic stability. To address these needs, CUBS is providing 50,000 vulnerable children with comprehensive health services and improving the capacity of 12,500 providers and caregivers to provide quality care for orphans and vulnerable children. The project is also strengthening government agencies, health systems, civil society organizations, and faith-based organizations for improved service delivery to vulnerable children and their caregivers.
Ethiopia Network for HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care, and Support (ENHAT-CS) ProjecT
Pediatric HIV care is an important component of the ENHAT-CS project, through which MSH has enrolled nearly 3,500 HIV positive children on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the Amhara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia. MSH has also worked with 80 health centers to facilitate Child Health Days where children receive cost-effective health services such as HIV testing and referrals, routine immunizations, nutritional status monitoring, and insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria. By training clinical mentors in pediatric HIV care, MSH has equipped the majority of ART centers in Amhara and Tigray to provide HIV services to children.
Prevention and Organizational Systems – AIDS Care and Treatment (ProACT), Integrated Health Program (IHP), and Strengthening TB and AIDS Response–Eastern Region (STAR-E) Projects
MSH is also scaling up pediatric HIV programming through the ProACT project in Nigeria and the IHP project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition, MSH’s STAR-E program in Uganda is strengthening the continuum of care for orphans and vulnerable children at the community- and facility-level and increasing care and treatment for HIV-infected and exposed children.