Health Systems Strengthening + PEPFAR
40.6 billion dollars. 70 countries. 13 million people supported in care and treatment services around the world. No doubt about it - the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, otherwise known as PEPFAR, has had an enormous impact on the lives of people around the world. Here at HAI, we see the impact of PEPFAR programs every day in Cote d'Ivoire and Mozambique, two countries which receive PEPFAR funding to implement crucial HIV/AIDS programs in public health systems.
That's why we were particularly interested in what the Institute of Medicine (IOM) had to say in a huge, 680-page evaluation released on February 20, 2013.
The report says PEPFAR has "played a transformative role" with its contribution to the global response to HIV. The report described PEPFAR as a "lifeline, and people credit PEPFAR for restoring hope." More than 3 million people received antiretroviral drugs in 2010 because of this support, and an estimated 600,000 HIV-infected pregnant women received anti-retrovirals to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies.
Photo by CarlaToko
The evaluation committee concluded that overall, PEPFAR has reset the world's expectations for what can be accomplished with ambitious goals, ample funding, and humanitarian commitment to a public health crisis. Working with a wide range of international and local partners such as HAI in Côte d'Ivoire, PEPFAR has expanded HIV testing and increased the number of people living with HIV who are receiving care and being treated with antiretroviral drugs. (Read more about how HAI is working with the Ministry of Health in Cote d'Ivoire to integrate HIV testing and care into routine primary health care services throughout the northern regions of the country here).
We are also proud to report that HAI's own Dr. Kenneth Sherr was cited in this comprehensive evaluation. His 2012 study showed that in one partner country, increased donor funding for HIV/AIDS had both negative and positive effects; health care workers were recruited away from rural areas to work in the capital or away from primary care to HIV services, but increased funding had also increased job opportunities, which also incentivized formerly emigrated health care workers to return back to the country (935-2-USG). In particular, interviewees attributed some migration of health workers away from the public sector to PEPFAR funding.
Photo by: Julia Robinson
Our PEPFAR-supported program continues in Cote d'Ivoire, where we are working to expand HIV testing and treatment services, working with the Ministry of Health to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and to ensure that all people have access to quality health care.