Building Local Capacity for the Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa Project

{Photo credit: Katy Doyle/MSH, Lesotho}Photo credit: Katy Doyle/MSH, Lesotho

For more than three years, TOMS Giving (TOMS), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) have partnered to address critical health and social issues facing mothers and children in rural sub-Saharan Africa.

Together, MSH and TOMS have helped nearly 1,000,000 moms and kids in Uganda and Lesotho stay healthy.  

How are MSH and TOMS ensuring a successful partnership? Utilizing complementary innovation and expertise toward aligned social impact goals. TOMS is known for their innovative One for One® philanthropy model—for each pair of shoes that is purchased in higher-income countries, TOMS provides a pair of shoes for a child or caregiver in need—one for one. But often times, the logistics of providing these shoes in rural areas in Africa can be daunting. That’s where MSH comes in: For over 40 years, MSH has helped build locally-led, locally-run health systems in over 130 countries, including among the poorest and most vulnerable populations in some of the hardest-to-reach regions of the world.

Teams of national and regional HIV program managers work together to discuss the issue: “Where will the next new infections come from?” {Photo credit: BLC/MSH.}Photo credit: BLC/MSH.

This post originally appeared on the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE) blog.

"All the people we need to make a difference in HIV globally are sitting in this room," said Paul Waibale, deputy director of the Building Local Capacity Project (BLC) for the Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa, during the opening of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) HIV prevention workshop, "New evidence, new thinking."

With funding from USAID, the week-long workshop on enhancing national and regional approaches to HIV prevention kicked off April 8, 2013, with 32 of Swaziland's key stakeholders in HIV prevention.

Luanda, Angola. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

I am in Luanda, Angola right now, and what an interesting place. It is the most expensive city in the world: a can of coke costs $5, a car and driver for the day costs between $250-$300, and a basic hotel room with a view of people living in shacks below and cranes building more skyscrapers above is $380 (and it is difficult to find it for less).

Luanda feels like Africa mixed with Latin American and European energy and music. The traffic is bumper to bumper. It is not possible to have more than two meetings in a day because it takes that long to get from one area to another in the city. But it feels calm. Drivers in Luanda have figured out how to navigate the maze...slowly weaving in and out, letting a car in as they make a two lane road into three, and double parking with half the car on the sidewalk. Hardly anyone honks, it is hot and slow, and it feels like there is a sense of order to the chaos.

Angola is a country that has tremendous wealth, primarily derived from oil and other minerals. That wealth is controlled by an elite few, and there are wide disparities between the rich and the poor; 54% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. The public health challenges in Angola are significant. The under-five mortality rate in 2010 was 161/1,000 births, and the maternal mortality rate is 610 per 100,000 live births.

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