ICAP’s work in sub-Saharan Africa was highlighted in the inaugural issue of Columbia Public Health magazine. An account of recent work in Kenya and Tanzania describes the unique approach ICAP takes to address HIV prevention, care and treatment as well as related issues.
The article highlights ICAP’s work in the Nyanza Region of Kenya, the region with the highest prevalence of HIV in the country, with more than one in seven people living with HIV. This multifaceted work includes HIV testing, treatment, counseling, group support, prenatal, and postnatal care. In Nyanza, ICAP has helped to make these services more accessible by supporting smaller, rural health centers like the Andingo Opanga Dispensary, which serves 10 villages and over a thousand households. With support from PEPFAR, ICAP renovated the Andingo Dispensary with equipment and provided training for additional clinical staff, community health workers and peer educators. ICAP’s work to enhance cervical cancer screening in Tanzania is also featured in the article. Supporting efforts to scale-up screening is especially important for women with HIV since these women have a greater risk for developing invasive cancer.
Expanding access and overcoming obstacles such as stigma, poor roads and inadequate health facilities is at the heart of ICAP’s work. Regional teams work to address the challenges related to comprehensive care. To encourage men to take a more active role in child rearing, ICAP created a male involvement program that is changing family dynamics. “The innovation takes your breath away,” says ICAP director Wafaa El-Sadr. “Watching the men take great pride in their partners and babies on graduation from the program demonstrates that men can be effectively engaged in program,” she added.