HIV & AIDS: Our Impact

Story and photos by Aor Ikyaabo Mary John is a 47-year-old mother of two and a hair stylist by profession. She is also one of Nigeria’s mentor mothers — women who provide counseling and essential health education to other HIV-positive mothers in their communities. As a peer and mentor, she teaches these women about how they can prevent their babies from contracting HIV and keep themselves and their families healthy.

{Photo credit: Paul Bwathondi/MSH}Speratus Macarius, a lab technician at Kigamboni Health Centre in Tanzania, checks a test order on the facility’s new electronic medical records system.Photo credit: Paul Bwathondi/MSH

With support from MSH, Tanzania is overhauling its digital health infrastructure, including introducing electronic medical records (EMRs) and a patient ID system, in hopes of dramatically improving its health services, especially for HIV/AIDS.

Reaching key populations with prevention, care, and treatment services is critical to Angola’s fight against HIV. Weekly peer support groups for female sex workers help address structural barriers, such as gender-based violence (GBV), that put them at higher risk for HIV infection. This work starts at ‘hot spots’, venues where female sex workers gather to meet or work.

 {Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH}After nearly losing her business, Adekeye Dorcas now mentors HIV positive pregnant mothers in her community and trains apprentices in the art of nylon production.Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH

A trader skilled in the art of nylon production, Adekeye Dorcas once generated enough income to provide for her family. During a routine visit to the health center in Kwara state, she tested positive for HIV and was immediately offered counseling services and antiretroviral therapy (ART). The growing demands on her time to travel on open clinic days for ART and the cost of transportation began to threaten her family’s financial stability. She knew that adherence to her treatment was key to allowing her to live positively and ensuring that her husband remained HIV negative.

 {Photo credit: Stanley Stephanus for SIAPS Namibia}Pehovelo Ndahangoudja (left), a registered nurse documents feedback on CBART from Know your Status CASG member Julia Sheepo (2nd from right) and leader Marian Ndahafo Lilonga (right) at Ndamono clinic, Onandjokwe district.Photo credit: Stanley Stephanus for SIAPS Namibia

Health leaders in Namibia had a geographic challenge in delivering antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. The country is among the most affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa, with an estimated HIV prevalence among adults of 16.9% as of 2014. Yet, in a vast country in which two-thirds of the people live in sparsely settled rural sites, how could these leaders make sure essential ARV treatment is accessible to those in need?

May 30th, 2016, LINKAGES’ Peer Educators Training. It is the first day, time for each peer educator-to-be to introduce themselves to the group. Claudia* is nervous and apprehensive as she has never spoken in public before, let alone as a sex worker. With the help from the facilitator, she manages to say a few words, though her voice trembles almost inaudibly as her gaze faces the floor.February 22nd, 2018, LINKAGES’ Police Training on the Protection of Key Populations.

 {Photo Credit: Rhiana Smith}Aziz Abdallah, DHSS Project Director, MSH, greets guests at end-of-project eventPhoto Credit: Rhiana Smith

The District Health System Strengthening and Quality Improvement for Service Delivery (DHSS) Project shared its achievements on Wednesday, March 7, after five years of work to reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS in Malawi. Guests gathered at the Bingu International Conference Center in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, for an end-of-project event that featured speakers from DHSS, the Ministry of Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH), which led the DHSS Project,  

Photo: From left: Johnnie Amenyah of JSI, Gladys Tetteh, Francis Aboagye-Nyame, Dinah Tjipura, and Kwesi Eghan of the SIAPS Program attending the End-of-Program event on March 1, 2018 in Arlington, VA. (Santita Ngo/MSH) On Thursday, March 1, 2018, MSH held an end-of-program event for the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program.

{Photo Credit: Health for All Project Staff}Photo Credit: Health for All Project Staff

From January 30 to February 7, 2018, Angola’s Health for All (HFA) Project, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), welcomed global health expert, Dr. Alaine Nyaruhirira, for a week-long training on the use of GeneXpert – technology that has become a game-changer in the fight against tuberculosis (TB).

{Photo Credit: Health for All Project Staff/USAID Angola} Eva Hadi Dos Santos, Community Counselor, and Suzeth de Moráis António, Patient Assistant Facilitator, from Viana Health Center, Luanda, Angola.Photo Credit: Health for All Project Staff/USAID Angola

It happened on July 10, 2017, at the Viana Health Center, one of the nine health facilities supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Luanda, Angola. Maria, a young mother, brought in her 15 month-old child, seeking care for severe malnutrition. In accordance with clinical guidelines, the child was tested for HIV by the Counseling and Testing Service and was identified as HIV positive. Immediately, Maria was also tested and was found to be HIV positive as well.

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