World AIDS Day 2014: Partnering to Save Lives

World AIDS Day 2014: Partnering to Save Lives

Tiglu, a patient at Bahir Dar Health Center in north-western Ethiopia. {Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH}Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH

My name is Tiglu. I was born and raised in Bahir Dar. When I first learned that I am living with the [HIV] virus, my mind went blank. I was depressed. After that, I started taking antiretroviral treatment. Then they found TB in me...

Meet Tiglu, a living example of how partnering for stronger health systems saves lives. In Ethiopia, about 790,000 people are living with HIV. Tiglu, a patient at the Bahir Dar Health Center in the Amhara Region of north-western Ethiopia, discovered he is HIV positive three years ago, and started on antiretroviral treatment (ART). He learned later he also has tuberculosis (TB).

“If it wasn't for the trainings given by MSH, patients like Tiglu wouldn't have received proper TB treatment,” said Sister Tiringo Zeleke, a nurse at Bahir Dar Health Center.

“The same is true for ART.”

For over forty years, MSH has worked in partnerships, empowering local leaders to build stronger health systems to save lives. In Ethiopia, we've partnered for over ten years to save lives by strengthening supply chain and pharmaceutical management systems, health service delivery, leadership, management, and governance, the health workforce, health information, and health care financing.

For example, MSH is supporting the Ethiopian government’s efforts to scale-up comprehensive HIV & AIDS services at health centers and integrate them with other health services (such as maternal, newborn, and child health), and to enhance health information systems at hundreds of ART clinic pharmacies to improve HIV patient care and adherence to treatment.

For Tiglu, quality case management and treatment are helping him live with HIV. “We gave him [Tiglu] the necessary counseling as to how to live with the virus and take care of himself,” said a case manager at Bahir Dar Health Center.

Tiglu said:

I am here today because of [the case managers’] advice and care.

MSH, as part of the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), also ensures consistent supplies of quality HIV & AIDS medicines and commodities through the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

“SCMS is playing a key role in our mission to saving lives,” said Abdisa Mengesha, head of Ethiopia's Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency (PFSA), Bahir Dar branch, in an interview with MSH. “More specifically, SCMS has been providing technical and material support for the provision and distribution of antiretroviral drugs.”

Tiglu:

I want to tell society that they shouldn't discriminate against HIV-positive people. I knew my HIV status three years ago. Now, I am really healthy.

I can live happily by taking my ART.

We’re proud to work with the Ethiopian government, PEPFAR, USAID, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and other partners to help save lives affected by HIV & AIDS, like Tiglu’s.

We commemorate World AIDS Day 2014 (December 1) with the national and international HIV & AIDS communities. We continue our committment to support efforts in dozens of countries, including Ethiopia, that align with PEPFAR’s five key agendas for an AIDS-free generation: Impact, Efficiency, Sustainability, Partnership, and Human Rights.

We also work toward what UNAIDS calls “closing the gap”: to zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths, closing the treatment gap, the gap for HIV/TB, and the access gap.

Please watch and share Tiglu's story for World AIDS Day to help raise awareness about the critical need for ongoing support of stronger health systems to save lives.

Join the World AIDS Day conversation on Twitter with hashtag .

Add new comment

Printer Friendly VersionPDF