ICAP has been awarded funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to partner with South Africa’s Ministry of Health and provide technical assistance at the national and sub-national level to improve the effectiveness of nurse-initiated and managed antiretroviral treatment (NIMART).
The first phase of the project will include a situational analysis of NIMART in all provinces in South Africa and identify barriers, enablers, and good practices for program strengthening and expansion. The resulting technical assistance plan will focus on building local capacity to deliver NIMART in-service training, including curriculum and tools revision.
Led by Jessica Justman, MD., senior technical director at ICAP, this award bolsters other ICAP initiatives to cultivate and support leadership amongst nurses and midwives. “South Africa has one of the world’s largest HIV epidemics, and, in view of current treatment guidelines, at least half of all South Africans living with HIVwill require antiretroviral treatment in the next few years,” said Dr. Justman. “NIMART is critical to promote wider access to ART for HIV patients in South Africa.”
A PEPFAR implementing partner in South Africa since 2004, ICAP has worked at all levels of the health system to advance the scale up of comprehensive HIV services and has provided clinical, technical and training support for high-quality, sustainable programs. ICAP has supported efforts to expand nurses’ scope of work to play a larger role in HIV care and recently launched the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative in South Africa to strengthen education and training for nurses and midwives.
In 2006, ICAP piloted the Nurse Mentorship Teaching Program in South Africa, a comprehensive HIV training program that equipped practicing nurses with the skills needed to train and guide others to provide care and treatment services. Since then, ICAP has expanded mentorship programs introducing NIMART in 2010, training and certifying nurses and providing technical assistance to support these efforts across sub Saharan Africa.