Notable Achievements for Ethiopia HIV Project

The four-year Ethiopia Network for HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care, and Support (ENHAT-CS) project held its end-of-project conference in December in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and announced its notable achievements in the two regions where it operated – Amhara and Tigray.

“So many people came up to us – from the Government of Ethiopia, international partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and said they hadn’t realized that we accomplished so much in such a short period of time,” said Fred Hartman, ENHAT-CS Project Director Supervisor. In addition to the December 4 conference, the project held smaller ones in Amhara and Tigray.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) financed the project through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).  Among the notable achievements of ENHAT-CS:

  • Eighty-seven percent of HIV-infected pregnant mothers seen at program-supported health centers received antiretrovirals (ARVs), up from 45 percent in 2011. The national rate is estimated at 55 percent.
  • Ninety-seven percent of women visiting program-supported antenatal care (ANC) services were tested for HIV and received their results, compared to less than 70 percent of ANC clients nation-wide.
  • When ENHAT-CS began, 6.9 percent of infants born to HIV-infected mothers tested positive within two months of birth and 15.7 percent tested between 3 and 12 months were HIV infected. By the end of the program, the HIV-positivity rates were, respectively, 1.7 percent and 8.7 percent.

Hartman noted that the project had a robust management approach as well as a strong operations research component. “We were constantly studying and testing along with the Government of Ethiopia,” he said. “If something didn’t work we would change it. It allowed for a high degree of innovation.”

The project has been extended until the end of March to further document its success. Moving forward, the government has adopted four new cadres of personnel established by ENHAT-CS, including case managers, data clerks, mother mentors for Mother Support Groups, and clinical mentors, to support the program’s interventions.

A number of key interventions that proved successful have now been transferred successfully to the Ministry of Health, including the family-oriented approach, data management for PEPFAR reporting and operations research, mother support groups for HIV-infected pregnant women, and a modified mentorship model using local ART providers supporting nearby HIV health centers – a more cost-effective approach that the government can sustain.

To read more about ENHAT-CS, please see:

 

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