HIV & AIDS: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Kasifa Mugala, 34, started feeling ill while she was pregnant, and started ART after referral for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. “I am very happy. I gave birth to a healthy baby who is now turning one year old,” she said. “I did not know that I would ever be fine. I am grateful to our village health team.”Photo credit: MSH staff

Esther Nyende, 45, is a member of her village health team and a community leader in Uganda’s eastern Pallisa District. Nyende alone has referred 20 clients who are now receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).

 {Photo credit: Amref Health Africa}Mary Gonera, midwife, led the Mucheke Community Health Center team that improved health service delivery and MNCH indicators in their community in Masvingo, Zimbabwe.Photo credit: Amref Health Africa

Many discussions on incorporating technology in the health field revolve around flashy mHealth tools which improve overall health information systems. Yet smaller scale use of mobile technology can be just as effective in supporting health workers in developing countries to overcome day-to-day challenges and effectively deliver health services, especially in rural communities.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman

HIV testing and counseling is central to HIV and AIDS prevention and control as well as improving the quality of patients’ lives. Individuals learn their HIV status and receive personalized risk-reduction counseling to help prevent acquiring or further transmitting of HIV while those found positive are enrolled for support, care, and treatment. Until 2014, only 46 percent of inpatients at Msambweni Sub-County Hospital in Kwale County were tested for HIV. This changed in 2015 when a team from the hospital set out to increase the number of inpatients tested for HIV.

 {Photo: SIAPS Namibia, September 2015}Martin Mandumbwa, PA, dispensing medicines to a patient at Robert Mugabe Clinic in Windhoek, Namibia.Photo: SIAPS Namibia, September 2015

Namibia faces a high burden of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, with an estimated 13.1 percent of the adult population living with HIV. To help address this critical national health concern, the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) has been receiving technical assistance from the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, with funding from the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through US Agency for International Development (USAID), and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

{Photo credit: MSH staff}Photo credit: MSH staff

The average Ugandan woman gives birth to 6.2 children—a national fertility rate that is among the five highest in sub-Saharan Africa—increasing the chances of complicated pregnancies and deliveries. If all unmet need for modern contraceptive methods in Uganda were satisfied, it is estimated that maternal mortality would drop by 40 percent, and unplanned births and induced abortions would decline by about 85 percent. 

MSH supported the roll-out in 2011 of an ambitious and pioneering public health program in Malawi known as Option B+, a test-and-treat strategy for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Under Option B+, all HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women are provided with lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) regardless of their CD4 count or World Health Organization clinical stage.

 {Photo credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH.}Rose Chebet (right) with her twins, her husband, and the linkage facilitator Helen Chelengat (middle).Photo credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH.

When Rose Chebet was five months pregnant with twins, she visited Kapchorwa Hospital in Eastern Uganda for a routine antenatal visit. She was devastated to learn that she was HIV positive and she feared her twins would not survive. Health workers referred Chebet, a first-time mother, to an antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinic where she began taking medication.

 {Photo credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH}In six months, 485 girls in six schools in Mbale District received HIV & AIDS education.Photo credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH

When Sylvia Kabuya entered Mbale Progressive Secondary School in eastern Uganda, she knew little about HIV & AIDS, how it was transmitted, or where to get tested. The 16-year-old’s knowledge about the disease was based on conjecture passed among her peers. Less than 40 percent of Ugandan women aged 15 to 24 have comprehensive knowledge about HIV & AIDS, according to the 2013 Uganda Demographic Health Survey.

 {Photo credit: AAM}Manuel, an AAM activist, conducts a sensitization session in Sambizanga district, Luanda.Photo credit: AAM

Angola, like many countries, struggles to provide good sexual and reproductive health (SRH), especially for youth. SRH is a “state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality and to the reproductive system” (UNFPA). Good SRH implies that both men and women have a right to decide about their sexual identity, sex life, and if and when to have children. 

{Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu}Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu

In Nigeria in 2014, MSH's PLAN-Health program assisted two state governments in launching the first community-based health insurance plan to cover small-scale business owners, farmers, traders, artisans, and others. PLAN-Health is funded by PEPFAR through USAID and supports Nigeria's goal of increasing coverage from 10 to 30 percent by 2015.

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