April 2011

APRIL 28 EVENT: A New Frontier in HIV Prevention: The Role of Antiretroviral Drugs, New York

In collaboration with the HIV Center for Behavioral and Clinical Research, ICAP is co-sponsoring a plenary talk and symposium on the timely issue of use of antiretroviral drugs for HIV prevention entitled, “A New Frontier in HIV Prevention: The Role of Antiretroviral Drugs.” This two-part event will explore the biomedical, behavioral, social, policy, economic, and ethical aspects of using antiretroviral (ARV) medications for HIV prevention at individual, community, and population levels. Visit here for more information.

APRIL 29 EVENT: HIV and Aging in Africa, New York City

The Global Health Initiative and ICAP welcomes Joel Negin from the University of Sydney to discuss “HIV and Aging in Africa," on Friday, April 29 at 11:00 am in the Hammer Health Sciences Center, 701 W. 168th Street, Room 404.

May 6 EVENT: Assessing the Outcomes of PEPFAR-Supported Programs in South Africa

ICAP welcomes Elysia Larson, MPH, Allan Rosenfield Global Epidemiology Fellow,
CDC South Africa on Friday, May 6, 2:00–3:00 pm, at 722 W 168th Street, Room 532B, New York City.

MAY 19 EVENT: ICAP Webinar Grand Rounds, Linkage and Retention (PREVIEW)

Molly McNairy, a member of ICAP’s Clinical Unit, gives a preview of ICAP’s upcoming Grand Rounds Webinar on Linkage and Retention. In this video, McNairy explains why the issues of linkage and retention of HIV-positive patients is a central focus for ICAP and its global health partners. The ICAP Grand Rounds Webinar will be held on May 19. To participate, click here.

ICAP Releases New PMTCT Toolkit for Health Workers

In response to the need for innovative approaches to PMTCT retention, adherence and psychosocial support across the spectrum of PMTCT care, ICAP has developed a generic toolkit to aid multidisciplinary care teams in providing improved PMTCT services. The “Improving Retention, Adherence, and Psychosocial Support within PMTCT Services: A Toolkit for Health Workers” The Toolkit includes the following: (1) an overview and introduction, (2) guidance on how to adapt the toolkit materials; (3) an implementation workshop curriculum for use at health care facilities when introducing the toolkit materials; (4) a set of 20 illustrated counseling cue cards for health care workers to use when working with PMTCT clients; (5) templates of forms and guides that can be used by health workers to support and assess clients’ retention in and adherence to PMTCT services and medicines, as well as their psychosocial wellbeing; and (6) a patient education video reinforcing key PMTCT messages and the importance of adherence to PMTCT. 

The toolkit materials are generic, to allow for adaptation across specific programmatic and policy contexts.

VIDEO: El-Sadr Joins Columbia Alumni Association Panel on Global Health

Wafaa El-Sadr joined a panel of global health experts, including Linda Fried, Dean of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, at the recent Columbia Leaders Forum hosted by the Columbia Alumni Association on April 2, 2011. El-Sadr spoke of the challenges of global health during the panel, “Protecting the Public’s Health through Effective US and Global Health Policy.” View the video here

VIDEO: Saving Two Lives: A Patient Education Video on Adherence to PMTCT

The new ICAP-produced video, Saving Two Lives: A Patient Education Video on Adherence to PMTCT, [LINK] is an educational tool for clinicians to help encourage patients to adhere to critical care and treatment during and after pregnancy. The video uses a narrative approach to reinforce key messages about Preventing Mother to Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT). Target audience for this video could include the following:  PMTCT clients, family members, and caregivers of HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children. The video was designed for use in a variety of settings, including clinic waiting rooms, group education sessions, and in the community. Saving Two Lives is also a recommended component for the recently produced toolkit, “Improving Retention, Adherence, and Psychosocial Support within PMTCT Services.”

ABOUT ICAP

ICAP was founded in 2004 at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Now a global leader in HIV/AIDS services, ICAP has supported work at more than 1,200 sites across 21 countries. More than one million people have received HIV services through ICAP-supported programs.

For more information about ICAP, visit here. For more information about ICAP leadership, visit here.

Supported by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Stephen Lewis Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Institutes of Health, David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Starr Foundation.


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Kenya Clinic Hands Grannies a Lifeline

The Mtito Andei grannies story is one of hope—a story of 15 grandmothers who care for their HIV-positive grandchildren following the death of their own children caused by HIV-related illnesses. The grandchildren are receiving HIV care at Mtito Andei Health Centre, one of 58 HIV clinics supported by ICAP in the South region of Eastern Province in Kenya. A one-stop shop for HIV and TB diagnosis and management for children, the Centre has expanded its services to provide health and social support care for the elderly grandmothers of these children.

Each month, the 15 grandmothers bring their grandchildren to the clinic for routine check-ups. As the children receive their care, grandmothers have their own set of check ups—they attend a psychosocial support group where they discuss their experiences caring for their children, offering encouragement and companionship to one another. They also receive basic clinical evaluations, such as blood pressure monitoring and information regarding other health conditions.  

At 80-years old, Ndani Mwulu has ten grandchildren that were left to her care by her three children who all died of HIV-related illnesses. Ndani Mwulu discovered that one of her grandchildren was HIV-positive, after he had collapsed in school and was taken to the Mtito Andei Health Centre. She explains that she and her grandson were given care and counseling, and she now is hopeful of her grandchild’s future. “If I had learned all this about HIV earlier, my three children would not have died” she says. “I am determined to make my grandson live a healthy and long life.”

During a recent site visit, ICAP staff spoke to the 15 grandmothers who shared their praise for the clinic. “The group has given us a forum to share our experiences and encourage one another. When we bring our grandchildren to the clinic, we feel that we are also taken care of, so we are a group of healthy grandmothers bringing up healthy HIV-infected children. Really the clinic has brought to us what we never thought was possible,” said one grandmother.

This initiative is one of several supported by ICAP to help include often-overlooked populations (such as grandmothers), and encourage them to be agents of care. It is also part of ICAP’s focus to build on the HIV platform to address other health conditions, including the chronic non-communicable diseases that the grandmothers in this setting are at risk for.

Monitoring and Evaluation Launches New Webinar Educational Series

ICAP’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Unit has launched a new webinar series. The first type of webinars will focus on data dissemination and discussion. These will take place at least twice a year and will highlight important trends and outcomes in ICAP-supported programs using routinely collected aggregate, patient-level and PFaCTS data (Program and Facility Characteristics Tracking System), as well as publicly available data. This series aims to encourage closer examination of these data and facilitate evidence-based programming. Recordings and slides from the first Data Dissemination Webinar, “Baseline Characteristics and Outcomes among Youth Enrolled in ICAP-Supported Care and Treatment Facilities,” are available on the ICAP Webinars page.

The second type of webinars, ICAP Methodology Webinars, will be developed in collaboration with ICAP’s Research Unit. These webinars will occur at least twice a year and will offer practical application of analytic and research-related concepts. Topics may include epidemiologic and biostatic principles, concept note preparation, MARP (most at-risk populations) size estimation, DHS data, and good clinical practices for research. The goal of this series is to facilitate use of these concepts when measuring progress towards program goals, targeting interventions, conducting program evaluation, and implementing studies. Details on the first ICAP Methodology Webinar will be available soon.

Topic suggestions for both series of webinars are welcome, and should be sent to Michelle Moses-Eisenstein at mlm2221@columbia.edu.

ICAP Nurse Capacity Building Initiative Leadership Summit Held in Addis Ababa

More than 45 nursing and midwifery leaders from nine African countries gathered together for the INCI Nursing Leadership Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February. This conference presented an opportunity for these leaders to explore strategies for advancing nursing in their respective countries.

The summit brought together participants from South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. The official welcome address was given by Zenebe Melaku, country director for ICAP in Ethiopia, followed by keynote presentations from Thomas Kenyon, country director for CDC Ethiopia, and Abraham Endeshaw, director of medical service directorate, Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. Participants also received updates about the state of nursing in Ethiopia from the Ethiopia Nurses Association and the Midwives Association, and visited Bishoftu Hospital, a local ICAP-supported site in the Oromiya Region, to see firsthand nurse-centered models in action.

ART Literacy Campaign Launched in Tanzania

In March, ICAP’s office in Tanzania launched a new campaign to educate people living with HIV on the timely use of care and antiretroviral therapy services. The year-long campaign employs radio spots, posters, leaflets, and newspaper advertising to share its message on available HIV care and treatment services. It is rolling out first in Kagera and Kigoma. Local news outlets covered ICAP’s campaign launch, which offered HIV testing and counseling to more than 280 attendees. ICAP aims to encourage HIV-positive Tanzanians to enroll in care and treatment services and adhere to necessary drug regimens. The ICAP team in Tanzania is collecting data throughout the campaign, which will be used to assess its impact.

El-Sadr Gives Jeffrey P. Koplan Global Leadership in Public Health Lecture in Atlanta

ICAP Director Wafaa El-Sadr presented at the 9th Annual Jeffrey P. Koplan Global Leadership in Public Health Lecture hosted by the Public Health Practice Program and the Office of Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 23, 2011. Her lecture was entitled, “The HIV Epidemic and Global Health at the Crossroads: Advances Made, Pressing Needs.”