Working With Ethiopian Health Centers To Improve HIV/AIDS Care

IntraHealth has been selected by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to work with Management Sciences for Health (MSH) on an HIV/AIDS community care program in Ethiopia. The Ethiopia HIV/AIDS Care and Support Project is a three-year, $30 million initiative to expand HIV/AIDS services, including antiretroviral therapy (ART), to communities and health centers throughout the country. It is the largest USAID-funded program of its kind in Africa. IntraHealth will be taking the lead in providing quality integrated HIV/AIDS services at health centers. 

The program aims to prolong and improve the quality of life of HIV-positive Ethiopians, as well as help lower high rates of maternal and early childhood mortality, by increasing access to HIV/AIDS treatment, care, prevention and support services. To achieve these goals, IntraHealth in collaboration with MSH will recruit, train and deploy case managers to link people living with HIV/AIDS with necessary health care services. IntraHealth will connect community outreach workers with HIV/AIDS-affected families to prevent further transmission of HIV and help with the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS. IntraHealth will work with local government agencies, NGOs, and FBOs including Ethiopia's Ministry of Health, Dawn of Hope and the Ethiopian Interfaith Forum for Development, Dialogue and Action to strengthen health systems and the country’s ART network.

"This program brings comprehensive HIV services closer to communities and families most affected by the epidemic," says Dr. Yetnayet Demessie Asfaw, 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 been working in Ethiopia since 2002 on USAID-funded initiatives to improve access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services, increase access to workplace HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis testing and counseling, help women prevent and repair obstetric fistula and encourage community advocacy against female genital cutting. 

IntraHealth currently has HIV/AIDS-related projects in 18 countries, including extensive work in Rwanda and Tanzania. IntraHealth's experience in HIV/AIDS, legacy in reproductive health and family planning, and familiarity with the Ethiopian health care situation will be applied to this program's new challenges.

Funding for the HIV/AIDS Care and Support Project in Ethiopia comes through USAID from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Management Sciences for Health leads the project; other partners include Save the Children/US. The program can potentially be extended two additional years with a total budget of $48 million.