Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Celebrates Milestones, Marks End of Pamoja Project and Launch of New 5-year CDC-funded Project to Expand Integrated HIV Services in Kenya
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Through the Pamoja project, mother-to-child transmission of HIV declined from 18% to 7% and an estimated 4,670 new HIV infections in children were averted from 2011–2016
Homa Bay, Kenya—October 28, 2016—Today, at an event held at the Cold Springs Hotel in Homa Bay, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Kenya Ministry of Health (MOH), Homa Bay county government, and other partners, commemorated the end of the Pamoja project and celebrated its achievements in improving and expanding HIV services, while officially launching a new, five-year Timiza90 project, which aims to build on Pamoja’s progress.
Funded by the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the CDC, the 2010–2016 Pamoja project dramatically scaled up access to and use of high-quality, comprehensive, and integrated HIV services in several high-prevalence areas of Kenya. Over its five-year lifespan, Pamoja helped to provide HIV testing services to more than 1.3 million people, enrolled more than 48,000 of those diagnosed with HIV on anti-retroviral treatment (ART), and achieved 83% viral suppression among the supported population. Through Pamoja, mother-to-child transmission of HIV decreased from 18% in 2011 to 7% in 2016, and an estimated 4,760 new infections in HIV exposed infants were averted across the five supported counties of Homa Bay, Turkana, Narok, Kajiado, and Kisumu.
Pamoja expanded HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in the region by decentralizing HIV treatment services from higher-level facilities to all primary health care facilities, and integrating HIV services with maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), and tuberculosis clinics at high volume sites. By working closely with the Ministry of Health and local and county governments, the project strengthened existing health systems, increasing their ability to reach HIV-positive and at risk children, families, and communities with the services they need to lead long, healthy lives.
“The Pamoja project proves that effective partnerships, in-country management, and robust donor support can promote remarkable progress toward the control of an epidemic in a very high-burden region,” said Dr. Eliud Mwangi, Country Director for EGPAF in Kenya. “Using a variety of methods, from small community interventions to large, national-level approaches, we have ushered in a wave of new support for a population that is at high risk of HIV infection. With the launch of Timiza90, we can ensure that support and services are not only sustained but expanded.”
The newly launched, five-year, CDC-funded, Timiza90 project will build upon the successes realized under Pamoja to further expand implementation and access to quality, comprehensive HIV programs across the western region of Kenya. The project will continue EGPAF’s legacy of strong collaboration with the MOH at the local, county, and sub-county levels by working to fortify health systems and address existing gaps in leadership, oversight, and human resources to ensure, sustainable HIV service delivery.
From 2016 to 2021, Timiza90 will support efforts towards the goal of achieving control of the HIV epidemic in Kenya, which aligns with the global 90-90-90 treatment targets set out by UNAIDS—90% of people living with HIV identified, 90% of those identified on antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of those on treatment are virally suppressed by 2020.
“These ambitious goals are global in scale, but their fate depends on the work being done by the health workers, community leaders, and staff right here in Homa Bay, and in countless other small clinics and health centers on the frontlines of this epidemic across the world,” said Charles Lyons, EGPAF President & CEO. “This is why it is more important than ever that we are dedicated to continuing the support and resources needed to not only sustain, but accelerate the gains we’ve already accomplished. At the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, we are proud to commit, alongside longtime partners in the Kenya Ministry of Health, county governments, CDC, and others, to doing just that through the work ahead under project Timiza90.”
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
EGPAF is the global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS and has reached more than 25 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. In 2015–2016, EGPAF is supporting activities in 19 countries and nearly 5,500 sites to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.