March 2011

Achievements Highlighted in Final Report of the Seven-Year USAID Cooperative Agreement Expanding MTCT-Plus Initiative

The Final Report on the Expanding MTCT-Plus Initiative summarizes the achievements of a seven-year USAID cooperative agreement aimed at the delivery of long-term care, treatment, and prevention services for women, their children, and families.

The Expanding MTCT-Plus Initiative was awarded to ICAP in 2003, enabling the continuation of the original MTCT-Plus Initiative, established in 2002 and funded by multiple foundations. At the core of this program is a family-focused approach to HIV prevention, treatment, and care for mothers and their families. Nine countries were supported under the MTCT-Plus Initiative—Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Angola, Cameroon, and Kenya—and successes attributed to the Initiative include increased access to, and improved systems of, PMTCT and HIV care; increased uptake and improved retention to PMTCT and HIV care; improved quality of care, extended services to the entire family; and strengthened community linkages.

The Expanding MTCT-Plus Initiative concluded in 2010, however, the systems developed and the relationships formed under this agreement will last long after its closeout.

Read the Expanding MTCT-Plus Initiative Final RepoRT

Why Reinvent the Wheel? Leveraging the Lessons of HIV Scale-up to Confront Non-communicable Diseases

A paper authored by Wafaa El-Sadr, ICAP Director, and Miriam Rabkin, Director for Health Systems Strategies, was published recently in Global Public Health. The paper examines how the design and implementation of prevention, care, and treatment programs for HIV--a chronic communicable disease--can inform the establishment of continuity care framework needed to address the non-communicable diseases in resource-limited settings. The recent recognition of the importance of non-communicable diseases as major cause of mortality in such countries is motivating efforts to confront such conditions and to develop programs aiming at their effective prevention and management. 

Read the article here

Photo Finalist Captures Image of Child at ICAP-Supported Clinic

Casey Kelbaugh’s photo of a child receiving ICAP-facilitated treatment at the Muranga District Hospital in Kenya earned top-10 honors in the 2011 Frontline photo contest, sponsored by USAID.

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 supports work at more than 1,200 sites across 15 countries in Africa. More than one million people have received HIV services through ICAP-supported programs.

For more information about ICAP, visit
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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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ICAP LAUNCHES NEW HOME

Linda Fried, Dean of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, joined ICAP Director Wafaa El-Sadr in leading the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of ICAP’s new offices at the Mailman School’s Allen Rosenfield Building on March 7.

After two years of planning and renovations, the vibrant, state-of-the-art offices house key leadership and regional directors who support ICAP’s global work.  The offices are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, which means they use resources more efficiently to minimize the impact to the environment.

El-Sadr shared her sentiments on the move during a ceremony attended by ICAP staff, partners, and Mailman School deans: “This is a wonderful home, and we are thrilled to be here.” El-Sadr thanked the leadership of the School for their commitment to ICAP and their belief in the value of its work.

Dean Linda Fried noted, “This beautiful space at the heart of Mailman is symbolically appropriate because ICAP is at the heart of the school. We believe deeply in what ICAP and the Mailman School are accomplishing on behalf of the world’s wellbeing. It’s a collective effort led by talented people.”

The event coincided with the 2011 ICAP Leadership Meeting hosted in New York City from March 7-11.

For photos of the event, click here

From Congo to Central Asia: ICAP’s Work in New Regions

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), one of the first sub-Saharan African countries to recognize the HIV/AIDS epidemic, has between 400,000 and 500,000 people living with HIV, and recent USAID reports suggest that this number is growing. ICAP’s work in DRC was launched in April 2010 to focus on three areas: health systems strengthening, the integration of HIV and TB services, and adult and pediatric HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs.

Several thousand miles and a continent away, Central Asia is experiencing its own set of unique challenges as its health care systems continue to evolve after the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago. The HIV epidemic throughout the region, while with lower overall HIV prevalence in the general population than in sub-Saharan Africa, is characterized by an alarming increase in the annual number of new infections. High rates of injection drug users and a growing migrant population who lack access to health care also contribute to the rapid spread of HIV. The new ICAP team in Central Asia will focus its work on providing technical assistance to strengthen facility-based HIV prevention, care, and support services, as well as to enhance strategic information systems.

On March 11, Anna Deryabina, ICAP’s regional project director for Central Asia, and Faustin Malele, ICAP country director for DRC, described to an overflowing room of faculty and students at the Mailman School of Public Health the most pressing issues they face as they develop these new activities. Malele noted that DRC struggles with a weak public health system and relies heavily on international faith-based organizations to deliver a large proportion of health services. Deryabina pointed to the fragile health infrastructure as a main obstacle throughout Central Asian countries. However, both speakers expressed their great enthusiasm in tackling the challenges ahead in carrying out their respective programs, from staffing the new country offices to collaborating with the governmental and community organizations in the areas.

Global Health at the Crossroads: Film Screening and Panel Discussion

“Before, when the time arrived to have [HIV] blood tests, you would start thinking about bus fare. But now we don’t need to think about it, because we just walk five minutes to the clinic,” noted one patient in Kigoma, Tanzania. The patient is featured in the film, “ICAP Health Systems Strengthening,” which can be viewed on ICAP’s YouTube Channel. The film provides a window into health systems strengthening conducted at the ground level by ICAP, notably the delivery of services in remote villages, renovations to laboratories, improved methods of data collection and evaluation, and peer educator programs.

On March 7, ICAP country directors from Swaziland, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Lesotho joined ICAP Director Wafaa El-Sadr and Senior Research Director Elaine Abrams for a screening of the film and a panel discussion.

The panel was moderated by Abrams and included several ICAP country directors who discussed several issues highlighted by the film including the role of peer workers and evolving capacity of nurses among other topics.

For photos of the event, click here

Survey Results for Program and Facility Characteristics Reaches New High

The ICAP Monitoring and Evaluation team has collected the results from the fifth round of the Program and Facility Characteristics Tracking System (PFaCTS) survey conducted in September 2010 across nine ICAP-supported countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, and Tanzania). The PFaCTS survey is conducted once a year to evaluate programs and aid in planning. The survey captures information on site characteristics (e.g., catchment area); context (e.g., estimated HIV prevalence among women attending antenatal care); available services at the site (e.g., ART pharmacy and lab services); facility characteristics (e.g., number of exam rooms); and staffing (e.g., how many physicians, turnover rate).

This round of survey results notably achieved the highest completion rate to date, with 97 percent of ICAP-supported HIV care and treatment facilities completing a PFaCTS assessment in June 2010.