Interview Transcript: Anthony Tanoh (Ministere la Lutte contre le SIDA)
September 10, 2012
Dr. Anthony Tanoh, Executive Director of Fondation Ariel Glaser, gives an overview of the work done by his organization since its establishment one year ago.
What is there to know about Fondation Ariel Glaser? Why the necessity of setting it up in Côte d’Ivoire?
Fondation Ariel Glaser is a non-governmental organization, or NGO, that was created on February 2, 2011 by Ivorian law. It aims to improve health issues in Côte d’Ivoire with a particular focus on mother-child pairs. We put a point of honor on prevention, care and treatment of HIV and AIDS, and demonstrates its determination to eliminate pediatric AIDS. It was established in Côte d’Ivoire to take over EGPAF’s work under Project HEART as part of the programmatic transition by CDC/PEPFAR from international entities to Ivorian locals. As an independent organization, we are working to support the Ivorian government to improve health issues in Côte d’Ivoire.
What is your field of intervention?
At the moment, our action consists of supporting the Ministry of Health, or MOH, in its fight against AIDS by providing high-quality HIV services. Our fields of intervention covered the following areas: promotion of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, palliative care, care and treatment for adults and children infected and affected by HIV.
What are your funding sources?
We are funded by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). We are working to vary our sources of funding by raising private funds.
What kind of support do you offer?
Our support consists of trainings, the provision of technical assistance, and joint supervision with the Health District Management team. We provide technical assistance to our sites and organize with the National Program for Care and Treatment of People Living with HIV to offer training of health actors in on-site classrooms about the above-mentioned themes.
Our actions aim to strengthen the health system by supporting coordination (through a coordination meeting); to bolster the infrastructure (minor renovations are planned for this year at the FSU Com Sagbé and HG Grand Lahou sites); to increase staffing levels in order to strengthen on-site data management (internet, computers, and M&E national tools); and to improve laboratory activities and equipment. Overall, we work according to the district approach with a special focus on quality improvement of care and data.
What are the conditions to be fulfilled by an organization that wants to benefit from your technical or financial support?
The organization needs to respond to a request for proposal and be selected during a competitive process. An emphasis is placed on technical capacity, administrative capabilities, financial strength, and governance.
What is the relationship between Fondation Ariel Glaser and other NGOS working in the field? Between Fondation Ariel Glaser and the MOH?
We collaborate with local NGOs after being successfully selected through a competitive process. They help to improve treatment adherence, to boost partner involvement, and to facilitate the follow-up of infected mothers and their HIV-exposed children. We rely on the NGOs as a relay and point of entry with the community. We finance them upon the production of a validated action plan, and organize regular programmatic and financial follow-up.
Concerning our collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the fight against AIDS, the MOH oversees our work, as they do for all NGOs. As such, we work under their close supervision and follow their directives and guidelines in order to maximize our efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
We participate in all the technical meetings and attend technical working groups conducted by the MOH. At the decentralized level, our offices are located inside the Regional Health and the Fight against AIDS Direction building, which ensures a good “anchoring” and a good collaboration. We lead our actions on the ground throughout the district approach.
What are your achievements after one year of work?
Fondation Ariel Glaser works in seven health regions ((Agnéby Tiassa-Mé, Gboklé Nawa San-Pédro, Abidjan1 Grands Ponts, Abidjan 2, N’Zi IFou, N’indénié Djuablin, Bounkani-Gontougo), and we support 24 health districts.
At the end of December 2011, 360,070 pregnant women were tested for HIV and received their results; 1,142 of these women were infected with HIV, and among them, 1,024 (90%) received ARV prophylaxis for themselves, while 87 % received the preventive ARV dose for their children.
Fondation Ariel Glaser has enrolled 34,979 persons infected by HIV into care, of whom 1,858 are children (5%). We have 31,049 patients under ARV treatment, including 1,486 children on our active file.
What are the major problems you have been facing?
Our establishment coincided with the post-electoral crisis, but we persevered. The crisis caused an increase in the lost-to-follpw-up (LTFU) rate. Programmatic challenges remain rather important: lost to follow up, and quality of care and data. In spite of these difficulties, we all have to resolve to work towards the elimination of new HIV infections by the end of 2015.
What is your relationship with – or the difference between – Fondation Ariel Glaser and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation?
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is an international NGO, while Fondation Ariel Glaser is a local NGO created under Ivorian law run by a local board. Mr. Nicolas Djibo is the president of Fondation Ariel Glaser. In Côte d’Ivoire, EGPAF will provide technical support to the MOH as well as to Fondation Ariel Glaser, focusing its efforts on field activities. There is an affiliation agreement between both organizations.
What are your expectations?
We aspire to become a local NGO with international standards in terms of financial and programmatic management. We will be conducting Projet Coeur d’Ariel (PCA) within the framework of PEPFAR from now until 2016. We expect success with the cooperation of all, and we wish to become a reliable partner of the MOH and are expecting the support of all. I would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to present our organization.