HIV & AIDS: Our Impact

Women wait to receive services outside a health center in Tanzania. Photo Credit: Brooke Huskey/MSH

In January 2020, the Tanzania Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children (MoHCDGEC), in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Technical Support Services Project (TSSP), identified the need for a national health cross-cutting dashboard that would allow for more efficient reporting from the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS-2), which is the national health information data repository. We spoke with Isaelly Nagunwa, Strategic Information Advisor, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) TSSP, and Claud John Kumalija, MoHCDGEC Head

 The USAID SAFEMed Activity in Ukraine launched an innovative public private partnership to improve the distribution of antiretrovirals for HIV and TB medications.

The rates of HIV and TB in Ukraine are high, yet some regions lack access to enough medicines for these and other conditions. The country has the second-largest HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Tuberculosis, which is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases in Ukraine, is especially dangerous due to the high estimated number of patients with multidrug-resistant TB.

 {Photo credit: Megan Montgomery/MSH}Anna Mzeru, an Assistant Nursing Officer at Yombo Dispensary in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, at her dispensary’s HIV care and treatment clinic.Photo credit: Megan Montgomery/MSH

In 2019, to better assess how well health care facilities provide HIV/AIDS treatment, the Technical Support Services Project (TSSP) integrated HIV/AIDS indicators into the Star Rating Assessment (SRA) Tool. The SRA assesses service delivery of health care facilities and rates them on a scale of one to five stars. More stars correspond to better quality service. TSSP also supported the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children (MoH) in updating and digitizing the SRA tool to prepare for future rounds of health facility assessments, including dispensaries, health centers, and council hospitals.Funded by the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), TSSP worked with the MoH to support and strengthen the SRA tool system. MSH spoke with Salli Mwanasalli, DDS, TSSP Senior Technical Advisor, Quality Assurance and Improvement, and Dr. Talhiya Yahya, Head, Quality Management Subunit in the Health Quality Assurance Unit (HQAU), at MoH, about integrating HIV/AIDS service indicators into the SRA Tool and implementing the Android mobile app in Tanzania’s Coast and Mbeya regions.

MSH was formed in May 1971 by Dr. Ron O’Connor to focus on supporting countries as they strengthen their health systems and the local ownership needed to achieve sustainable change. In 2021, we are celebrating our five decades of health impact. But we are not going to celebrate this anniversary by reflecting on the past. We want to focus on the future of global health – the Next 50 Years.We turn 50 during a time when, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of global health is on everyone’s mind and impacting everyone’s lives.

 {Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu}National Health Insurance System (NHIS) desk of the National Hospital of Abuja, Nigeria.Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu

Nigeria, like many other low- and middle-income countries, suffers from systemic weaknesses which cripple its health care system and leave many without adequate access to health services or care. With support from the Global Fund, the MSH-led Nigeria Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH) project is working with Nigeria's Center for Disease Control, the Department of Health Planning Research and Statistics (DHPRS) at the Federal Ministry of Health, and the National Product Supply Chain Management Program to strengthen and expand the capacity of its national and state-level health systems. One way that RSSH is supporting Nigeria in providing quality health care, especially for those most in need, is through its state-level interventions around public financial management, the state health insurance scheme, and organizational and labor market assessments.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Pharmacists at KIU Teaching Hospital view data in the Pharmaceutical Information PortalPhoto credit: MSH staff

Until 2012, Uganda’s public health supply chain was uncoordinated because the information needed to estimate quantities of essential medicines and health supplies was not readily available. A national centralized platform to track routine monitoring of stock levels, share information to support data-driven decisions, and provide accountability of funds and commodities did not exist. Without knowledge of stock levels, funding could not be properly allocated to procure needed commodities.

 {Photo credit UHSC staff/MSH}Henry Oundo, UHSC staff member, reviews stock records with Opolot Grace, assistant inventory management officer at Princess Diana Health Center, Uganda.Photo credit UHSC staff/MSH

In the foothills of Uganda’s fabled Moon Rwenzori Mountains, in the far west of the country, sits Bundibugyo Hospital. From its front steps you can see the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the distance. Many refugees who fled their homes during DRC’s internal conflict are treated here. The hospital regularly serves a population of nearly 49,000, many of whom rely on its HIV clinic for prevention, treatment, and care. Built in 1969, Bundibugyo Hospital had always faced the challenge of limited storage space for medicines and health supplies.

Adolescents and a few MSH staff pose for the camera after the Adolescent and Young People Program and Symposium held in Abuja, Nigeria. Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

In commemoration of World Aids Day 2019, MSH, through the USAID Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, joined in a week of activities hosted by Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS and the Federal Ministry of Health. In collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the government launched the “Undetectable equals Untransmittable” (U=U) campaign on November 25—a strategic campaign to help achieve zero new infections and reduce stigma for Nigerians living with HIV.

Omena Eghaghara, Supply Chain Management Specialist for the CaTSS project, visits with Mayowa. Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

By Omena Mimi EghagharaOmena Mimi Eghaghara is a Supply Chain Management Specialist for the USAID Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, based in Kwara State, Nigeria. One September day in 2018, while providing supportive supervision to one of the CaTSS-supported facilities in Kwara state, I made the first of many calls to Mayowa, a 21-year-old medical student living with HIV. Mayowa was exhausted and losing hope.

A provincial antiretroviral therapy nurse, peer educator, and MWENHO peer navigator gather after a training. Photo credit: LINKAGES/MSH

Until LINKAGES Angola developed an instrument to assess a person’s risk for contracting HIV and identify key populations, the Associação de Mulheres Vivendo com o VIH e SIDA, or MWENHO, did not have a way of indicating with certainty if they worked with key populations or not.Through LINKAGES, MWENHO hired peer navigators—persons living with HIV who could mentor others on how to overcome the challenges of starting and adhering to treatment for HIV.

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