April 2012

ICAP Next Generation Program Selects Students
ICAP’s Next Generation Program provides students from various academic backgrounds and institutions with internship opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and New York. More than 70 medical, dental, and public health students have engaged in the design, implementation, and evaluation of ICAP-supported programs, gaining rich field experiences and honing global health skills as they work side-by-side global health experts. ICAP is pleased that the following students have been selected for the 2012 Next Generation Program this summer:

Central Asia/Kazakhstan:
Jeremiah Johnson, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Rebecca Regan, Columbia University School of Nursing and the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health; Alex Rittenburg, Boston University Medical School

Annette Georgia, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons; Jonathan Platt, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Amanda Widing, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons; Lynn Jiang, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons

Charles Scott, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons

ICAP Webinar Grand Rounds: May 17, 2012, 8:30 am ET: "HIV and Infant Feeding with Louise Kuhn," PhD, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. JOIN WEBINAR 

ICAP Webinar Grand Rounds Recap: "Nurse Initiated and Managed ART" with Jennifer Dohrn, DrNP, CNM, project director of ICAP's Nurse Capacity Initiative/NEPI Coordinating Center and assistant professor of clinical nursing. View Webinar

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.

© 2011 ICAP

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ICAP to Lead Global Nurse Capacity Building Program to Strengthen Nursing and Midwifery Systems

ICAP has received renewed funding to lead the Global Nurse Capacity Building Program supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This five-year funding will support the expansion and enhancement of the ongoing nurse capacity building efforts that ICAP has conducted since 2009, with a focus on strengthening nursing and midwifery education systems and increasing the number of trained nurses and midwives.

This award will enable ICAP to oversee two major projects supported by HRSA and PEPFAR. First, ICAP will continue its work as the official Coordinating Center for the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI). NEPI currently works in five countries—Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia—to strengthen the capacity of select nursing and midwifery educational institutions and ensure a sufficient numbers of skilled practitioners.

As the Coordinating Center, ICAP will continue to leverage its extensive global health education, research, and programmatic experience in 21 countries around the world to facilitate nursing education projects carried out in the five NEPI countries. ICAP will also continue to coordinate the implementation of nursing trainings and communications between Ministries of Health, nursing and midwifery schools, educators, professional councils and associations, and other stakeholders in the NEPI partnership.

Secondly, ICAP will support the Nursing Capacity Building Program, which is focused on training nurses to provide HIV and primary care services by bridging pre-service and in-service nursing education, fostering continuing professional development, and promoting nursing leadership and recognition. Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Tanzania will be new additions to ongoing nurse capacity building programs in South Africa, Swaziland, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Lesotho, and Kenya. Through its Coordinating Center, ICAP will harmonize activities between the two projects and across country programs while partnering with a regionally-based nursing education institution to transition activities over the next five years.

“ICAP embraces this opportunity to continue its work to make nursing and midwifery a focal point for strengthening health care systems,” said ICAP Director Wafaa El-Sadr. “We are deeply committed to supporting nurses and midwives who form the backbone of the health system,” added Jennifer Dorhn, ICAP program director.


ICAP Distance Education Projects Help to Build Skills of Public Health Professionals

“We have been doing HIV surveillance activities for quite some time. With this course, we are learning more, building our skills and developing new ones,” said one participant in the ICAP Distance Education Project on HIV/AIDS Epidemiological Surveillance, a course focused on strengthening HIV/AIDS and behavioral surveillance skills—including data collection, analysis, and evaluation. 

First launched in May 2009 with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ICAP’s Distance Education Project for public health professionals has been conducted in partnership with local CDC offices and Ministries of Health in Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, and Nigeria. Using an online “webinar” platform, the program has been widely accepted as a valuable approach to building and reinforcing critical planning, implementation, and evaluation skills among public health professionals in Africa.

ICAP has taken the project one step further by using a “train the trainer” approach to prepare Kenyan professionals to manage and lead the surveillance training program. In partnership with Kenya’s National AIDS and STI's Control Program (NASCOP) and the University of Nairobi (UoN), ICAP is supporting a team of Kenyan educators to design, conduct, and evaluate a distance education program in HIV and behavioral surveillance for health professionals throughout the country. After completing a comprehensive training program, the Kenyan team launched its first course in January 2012 with the participation of 26 trainees from NASCOP, UoN, ICAP, and Kenyatta National Hospital.  The second course will begin in May.

“Distance education is an important way to disseminate knowledge and skills,” notes Dr. Andrea Howard, director of the ICAP Clinical and Training Unit. “ICAP’s experience working in 21 countries with very different needs and infrastructure capabilities has shown us that we can tailor our courses to serve a wide range of settings, using both online and off-line resources.”

In 2012, ICAP also completed the first year of its Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) course, which supports health professionals in PEPFAR-focused countries as they design, oversee, monitor, and evaluate health systems strengthening initiatives. This innovative mixed-methods course is designed to support U.S. government field staff and their Ministry of Health colleagues, providing a common framework and understanding of health systems strengthening to facilitate joint identification of country-specific challenges and priorities for country programming. In Year 1, the HSS course was supported by CDC and USAID and delivered in partnership with Health Systems 20/20. Initial participants included teams from Barbados, Jamaica, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Following a five-day foundational workshop that reviewed health systems building blocks and assisted teams to identify priority areas for future work, participants went on to complete phase 2 of the course, a four-month distance education curriculum in which key health systems strengthening topics were addressed in greater depth. Phase 2 modules included systems thinking, human resources management, health financing for sustainable programs, governance and accountability, and the integration of HIV programs into broader health systems. In a typical week participants spent approximately two hours offline completing assigned readings, watching pre-recorded lectures, considering the week’s guiding questions, and interacting via a course wiki. Participants then joined a one-hour online discussion with faculty and peers. The course concluded with a final in-person workshop in Cape Town, South Africa in February 2012.

Reflecting on the course content, one team member from Namibia noted, “The course came at the right time. This information will guide us as we take into account critical issues to consider before integrating HIV/AIDS programs into primary health care services.”

Building on its experience in distance education initiatives, ICAP aims to continue with this training model to enhance the knowledge and skills of colleagues in partner countries. “Using innovative technologies and a curriculum that is tailored to distance education, crucial skills and expertise can be transferred from educators in one location to learners in another. We are enthusiastic about applying our approach to new areas of work in collaboration with local governments and partner organizations,” said Miriam Rabkin, director of health systems strategies at ICAP.         


Sustainable Partnerships a Mainstay in HIV Programs in South Africa

For nearly a decade, ICAP has worked to expand HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Track 1.0 funding. At a recent celebration event in East London in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, ICAP joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Eastern Cape Province  to acknowledge the achievements over the past eight years of partnership. “We started this HIV program together. There were so many fires to put out and lots of gaps,” said Ms. Nomalanga Makwedini, deputy director general at the Eastern Cape Department of Health. “ICAP came in at the right time when we started providing antiretroviral drugs in 2003. As a province we did not have the knowledge,” she continued.

Since the beginning of its work in the province, ICAP has supported nearly 100,000 adults and almost 8,000 children to initiate antiretroviral therapy and gain access to comprehensive HIV care. ICAP has also contributed to vital health systems strengthening through implementing reporting and monitoring systems, training and mentoring staff, and renovating health facilities.

Transition of support to the programs has been achieved with local partners including Health Systems Trust, Institute of Health Programs and Systems, and the Aurum Research Foundation. The organizations will manage five newly renovated clinics as well as the enhanced hospital, staff, and patient support systems developed under ICAP. Acting district manager for the Amatole District Municipality, Ms. Sindisa Gede remarked on the transition, “The footprints of ICAP will never fade from our hearts. ICAP has done their part in ensuring that things are happening and systems are in place. Now it is for us to ensure that we keep your high standards and carry it forward.”

ICAP will continue its work in South Africa leading several evaluations including a national study of pediatric HIV treatment outcomes and a multi-country study on voluntary medical male circumcision. In collaboration with the University of Cape Town, ICAP will also design and develop TB/HIV training courses for clinicians and infection control certifications for clinic staff. In 2011, ICAP's team in South Africa also began the national program, HIV Prevention Services for High-Risk Underserved Populations, under PEPFAR, to provide HIV prevention services to men who have sex with men and support capacity building assistance for the most-at risk populations. Like the Eastern Cape program, these projects aim to promote long-lasting change in the region.