IntraHealth Selected on Major Effort to Expand HIV/AIDS Services in Africa

July 27, 2007, Chapel Hill, NC—IntraHealth International, a leader in global public health located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, will work with Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a Cambridge, Massachusetts firm and three other partners on a three-year, $30 million contract to increase AIDS community care and support in Ethiopia. The project will nationally expand HIV/AIDS services including antiretroviral therapy (ART) at the community and health center level throughout the country. It is the largest program of its kind in Africa ever funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The program can potentially be extended two additional years with a total budget of $48 million.

IntraHealth's role in the Ethiopia Care and Support Program will be substantial, taking the lead in the provision of quality integrated HIV/AIDS services at the health center level. MSH leads the team, and other partners include Save the Children/US, Dawn of Hope, and the Ethiopian Interfaith Forum for Development Dialogue and Action.

"This is a great opportunity for IntraHealth and our partners to make a significant impact on HIV/AIDS in a country where the prevalence of the disease is among the highest in Africa,” said Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International. "We have a strong team in place that already has years of experience in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV in this setting."

The program's goals are to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment, care, prevention and support services, as well as strengthen the health systems and the ART Network in Ethiopia. It will improve the quality and prolong the life of HIV-positive Ethiopians and help lower high rates of maternal and early childhood mortality. Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa.

"This program brings comprehensive HIV services closer to communities and families most affected by the epidemic," said Dr. Yetnayet Asfaw Demessie, country director for IntraHealth in Ethiopia. "We are committed to work in partnership with others and use this opportunity to introduce innovative approaches that will make a difference in the fight against HIV in our country."

IntraHealth has a major presence in Ethiopia with more than 60 employees working on several funded projects. These projects have focused on averting pediatric HIV infections through the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT); obstetric fistula prevention and repair; expanding HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis services in private-sector workplaces; and advocacy to eliminate female genital cutting.

MSH also has an important presence in Ethiopia, with over 40 team members on the ground. Save the Children/US supported orphans and vulnerable children and at-risk people in the Djibouti-Ethiopia corridor. Dawn of Hope, the largest association of people living with AIDS in Ethiopia, works through advocacy, counseling, care, and health education. The Ethiopian Interfaith Forum for Development Dialogue and Action, the local affiliate of the World Conference for Religions for Peace, joined with various religious organizations to form a coalition to confront the social ills created by HIV and AIDS in Ethiopia.

Funding for The Ethiopia Care and Support Program comes through USAID from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS (PEPFAR). PEPFAR is the US Global effort to prevent seven million new HIV infections, treat at least two million HIV-infected people, and care for ten million people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, including orphans and vulnerable children. IntraHealth International has served the public health needs of developing countries for more than a quarter of a century. IntraHealth's primary mission is to mobilize local talent to create sustainable and accessible health care. With an original focus on women’s and children's health, IntraHealth's work has broadened. It now includes innovative approaches to accessing basic health care, strengthening human resources for health and interventions for HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases. IntraHealth has public health projects in more than 25 countries on four continents, with its US office in Chapel Hill, NC. IntraHealth is a not-for-profit corporation.

IntraHealth International is a global health nonprofit that champions the critical role of health workers in health and development. For over 30 years, IntraHealth has empowered health workers to better serve communities in need, fostering local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. The nonprofit’s work is supported and funded by the US Agency for International Development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, private foundations, corporations and individuals.

Contact: Laura Hoemeke
IntraHealth International
+1 919-360-7799