Public health practitioners from seven countries joined ICAP in Cape Town, last week, to take part in the third annual training course—Introduction to Health Systems Strengthening. Dr. Janis Timberlake, director for development at PEPFAR, joined the course to discuss PEPFAR’s latest agenda for sustainability, which will advance country ownership for health programs and accelerate efforts to achieve a durable and effective HIV/AIDS response.
At an ICAP-supported clinic in Siaya County, Kenya, Morris Walugwe arrives to receive voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). He was persuaded to do so by his wife after numerous conversations about the benefits of the surgery. “Now both my brothers got it,” he said. Mr. Walugwe is one of the thousands of men electing the procedure as part of a broader national health strategy in countries most affected by HIV.
This July, the first round of Fellows in the Swaziland Health Research Training Program (HRTP) completed the program and the second round of scholars and mentors were enrolled. Founded in 2013, HRTP was established by the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and ICAP, with support from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
ICAP recently celebrated major milestones in its support of HIV prevention, care and treatment programs around the world. Through ICAP support, over 1 million people have received access to live-saving treatment and grown to support over 3,380 sites.
Key to reaching global HIV treatment goals is the need for an expanded clinical role for nurses and midwives, including initiating and managing patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART), in countries that face a shortage of health care workers. New ambitious treatment goals for adults and children as well as for the scale-up of the Option B+ for PMTCT compel the need to continue pre-service and in-service education, training and mentorship for the nursing workforce.
U.S. government programs have recently received attention in mainstream media for efforts to address healthcare worker shortages in sub-Saharan Africa by strengthening medical education. ICAP is pleased to be implementing similar programs that aim specifically to increase capacity for nursing and midwifery institutions in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia.
ICAP’s regional nurse advisor, Dr. Lyn Middleton and Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, ICAP director, recently co-authored an article with funding partner HRSA on the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative in this month’s issue of Academic Medicine.
Following the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne in July, ICAP sponsored a symposium in Yangon, Myanmar to share updates from the conference and discuss the most recent advances in the global effort against HIV.