Good Relations, Impressive Results: HIV/AIDS Clinical Services Program in Rwanda Acclaimed in Continuing Application Process with USAID

“In 2012, we think that the services at the health centers will be much better. ...The quality of care has improved since the start of this approach, and we think that this will last a very long time.” --Mobile Physician, Gicumbi District

IntraHealth’s HIV/AIDS Clinical Services Program (HCSP) in Rwanda recently successfully completed its continuation application process to USAID. As the five-year project prepared to enter its third year of implementation, the project consulted clients and partners and reflected on program results, achievements, lessons learned, the way forward and future areas of focus.

HCSP Rwanda’s first two years of achievements include:

  • Awarding 44 grants to health facilities to finance improved services to HIV/AIDS patients, and 37 grants to reward health facilities with bonuses for achieving clinical service targets
  • Training 400 health service providers
  • Launching palliative care services in all sites, as well as supporting the launch of Rwanda’s first pediatric palliative care center on August 20, 2009
  • Integrating family planning and maternal and child health into the full package of HIV/AIDS services
  • Supporting the management of services to address gender-based violence (GBV) and adequate care for GBV survivors
  • Adopting a family-centered approach to service provision, and engaging males to be more involved in health services and decisions.

On June 18, 2009, HCSP Rwanda hosted a conference with more than 50 site- and district-level partners to gather their input regarding program activities. USAID representatives in attendance lauded IntraHealth for its transparency and effective collaboration with the sites and districts it supports. HCSP Rwanda and its partners acknowledged the need to continue improvement in areas such as follow-up of pre-antiretroviral therapy clients, GBV, infant feeding and nutrition, and documentation of the impact of service integration. But most participants commended the support they receive. As one hospital director put it, “I speak as a physician and as a manager: I appreciate this project.”

We are proud of the trust IntraHealth has in us,” commented a mobile physician in the Gicumbi District, in the run up to the conference. “It is a great motivation, which translates into the well-being of our patients.”

On June 25, HCSP Rwanda presented its achievements and next steps to a USAID delegation alongside two similar programs implemented by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Family Health International. USAID expressed its satisfaction with and appreciation of IntraHealth efforts and achievements and discussed the way forward for HCSP Rwanda.

HCSP Rwanda’s third year of implementation officially begins on October 1, 2009.