ICAP News - January 2009

Mobile Counseling and Testing Services Initiated in Rural Areas of Somali Region of Ethiopia
In an effort to bring HIV services closer to persons living in rural areas, ICAP Ethiopia is supporting a mobile voluntary counseling and testing service in Somali Regional State. In addition to HIV counseling and testing, the mobile service provides safer sex education in conjunction with making condoms available. More than 18,000 people are expected to access the service within its first year.

The mobile service is available to all those who reside in Somali’s six zones, but targets nomadic pastoralists and semi-pastoralist communities who have limited access to health care services. The service is a collaboration among the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia, the National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO), Regional HAPCO, and the Somali Regional Health Bureau.

At a launching event in Jijiga town, Abdurahman Abdulahi, MD, of the Somali Regional Health Bureau, said that a focus of the mobile service is to improve understanding of HIV/AIDS, particularly prevention and the availability of care and treatment. This point was echoed by Sheik Oumer Farah, chair of the Islamic Affairs Council of Somali Regional State, who urged community members to obtain HIV tests and care and treatment, if indicated.

ICAP will continue supporting its partners as they expand the mobile testing service to other rural areas of Ethiopia.

Photo caption: A Somali Region community leader obtains a rapid HIV test through the mobile testing service.

For more about ICAP Ethiopia, visit here.

Initiative Launched in Ethiopia to Strengthen Laboratory Capacity for Malaria Diagnosis and Monitoring
ICAP, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development under the President’s Malaria Initiative, has launched an initiative to improve laboratory capacity for malaria diagnosis and monitoring in Ethiopia. The program is collaboration with the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, Ethiopia’s Malaria Control Program, and the Oromiya Regional Health Bureau.

ICAP, which has extensive experience in supporting the development of laboratory capacity for HIV and related services, will support the malaria project primarily in Oromiya Regional State, where 90 percent of the districts are malarious and an estimated 1.5 million malaria cases are reported annually. ICAP activities will include laboratory baseline assessments, development of quality assurance operational guidelines for malaria diagnosis and monitoring, and studies of the efficacy of anti-malaria drugs. At the site-level, ICAP will provide technical support to strengthen malaria laboratory diagnosis and monitoring at all levels of the health system in Oromiya Regional State. ICAP also will support trainings for laboratory staff and the development of training materials on malaria laboratory diagnosis and monitoring.

At a recent two-day workshop, ICAP-Ethiopia Country Director Zenebe Melaku, MD, lauded the project’s collaborative approach and expressed his conviction that the effort will strengthen laboratory services for malaria diagnosis and monitoring throughout the country.

For more about ICAP Ethiopia, visit here.

Integrated Center for Care and Treatment Inaugurated at Maputo Military Hospital in Mozambique
On Dec. 3, the Integrated Center for Care and Treatment to provide comprehensive HIV services for both children and adults was inaugurated at Military Hospital in Maputo, Mozambique.

Military Hospital is the first site in Mozambique where ICAP began providing technical support for HIV services in 2004. With growth in patient enrollment, the facility has required more space for HIV and tuberculosis care and treatment, pharmacy services, and staff training. To meet this need, ICAP supported the facility’s renovation and expansion to create the Integrated Center. Currently, it provides HIV care to 7,000 children and adults, including antiretroviral therapy to more than 2,000 individuals.

The inauguration was attended by a host of Mozambican and American dignitaries, including the Mozambican Head of the Armed Forces Major General of Defense Paulino Macaringue, the Mozambican Minister of Defense Felipe Nhussi, Mozambican Minister of Health Ivo Garrido, AFRICOM Vice Commander in Chief of Civil/Military Affairs Mary Carlin Yates, and U.S. Chargé D’Affaires Todd Chapman. In addition, Phuka u Hanya, a peer educator group sang, danced, and shared stories about living with HIV. The inauguration featured the unveiling of a plaque highlighting the partnership between Mozambique and the United States.

During the ceremony, ICAP-Mozambique Country Director Josué de Lima, MD, read a congratulatory letter from ICAP Global Director Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, and offered his own remarks. “The integrated center,” said de Lima, “is a stellar example of how the combined efforts of the Mozambican and American governments can work together to achieve the common goal of providing high-quality, health care services for children and adults.”

Photo caption: ICAP-Mozambique Country Director Josué de Lima (right) greets Mozambican Minister of Defense Felipe Nhussi at the inauguration of the Integrated Center for Care and Treatment.

For more about ICAP Mozambique, visit here.

World AIDS Day Exhibitions Showcase ICAP Activities in Tanzania and Nigeria
ICAP recognized as key development partner in Tanzania’s Kigoma Region

In conjunction with national exhibitions in Tanzania and Nigeria recognizing World AIDS Day 2008, ICAP showcased it activities in support of HIV scale up.

At a National Stadium exhibition of health organizations that support HIV services, Tanzania’s Vice President Ali Mohammed Shein recognized ICAP as a key development partner in support of HIV/AIDS services in Kigoma Region, a rural area in the northwest part of the country.

“We are honored by the government’s recognition of ICAP activities and look forward to our continued work together to scale up HIV services in Kigoma and throughout the country,” said ICAP-Tanzania Country Director Amy Cunningham.

HIV counseling and testing were available to exhibition attendees as well as those who attended World AIDS Day events at four ICAP-supported sites in Kigoma. In Kigoma, ICAP-supported Kidondo District Hospital and Nguruka Health Center marked World AIDS Day by inaugurating comprehensive HIV services in newly renovated and expanded space.

In Nigeria, ICAP also participated in a national exhibition of organizations that support the scale up of HIV services. On hand for the event was Nigeria’s Vice President Goodluck Jonathan who visited the ICAP booth with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Robin Renée Sanders, Minister of Health Babatunde Osotimehin, and Nigerian legislative leaders. ICAP-Nigeria Country Director Bola Oyeledun, MD, said Jonathan expressed his gratitude to ICAP and the United States government for their support of HIV services, especially in rural areas, and their efforts to ensure that as many Nigerians as possible can access high-quality care and treatment.

Photo captions: Nigeria's Vice President Goodluck Jonathan visits with ICAP staff members at a World AIDS Day exhibition of organizations that support the scale-up of HIV services. At the launch of HIV services at Nguruka Health Center in Tanzania's Kigoma region, a woman living with HIV delivered a testimonial about the services that she receives at the facility.

For more about ICAP Tanzania, visit here.
For more about ICAP Nigeria, visit here.