Document Recaps 12 Successful Years of Supporting Local Partners to Implement High-Quality PMTCT Services and Save Lives
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) has released a report to mark the end of its successful project with Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) to improve access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and HIV care and treatment services for families in Cameroon.
From February 2000 to 2012, EGPAF supported CBCHS, a local nonprofit health care organization, in implementing high-quality services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Through these efforts and in line with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), EGPAF has assisted in successfully integrating PMTCT services into routine maternal and child health services across the country.
CBCHS was able to expand its support from five PMTCT sites in 2000 to 457 sites in 2011, in facilities ranging from large urban hospitals to remote rural health centers. From 2000-2011, 618,397 women were tested for HIV, and 46,243 HIV-positive women were identified. A total of 40,265 (80%) of identified HIV-positive women received antiretroviral medicines to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child, and 21,345 HIV-exposed infants received antiretroviral drugs to help prevent infection.
The EGPAF/CBCHS PMTCT program was closely linked and integrated with other components of CBCHS's AIDS Care and Prevention program. Services provided included psychosocial support groups for adults and children living with HIV, support for orphans and vulnerable children, youth health and education programs, women's health programs (including cervical cancer screening and treatment; breast cancer treatment; HPV vaccination campaigns; family planning; and other reproductive health services) , and nutritional counseling and support. Because of EGPAF support, CBCHS is the second-largest provider of PMTCT services in Cameroon after the Ministry of Public Health.
In 2011, CBCHS was selected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement a five-year PMTCT project in two regions with the highest HIV prevalence in Cameroon. This is the first major project of this kind that the CDC has funded in Cameroon, and will greatly increase the sustainability and prominence of CBCHS. EGPAF is providing technical assistance to CBCHS to implement the project, which has enhanced CBCHS's national visibility and enabled the organization to increase the geographic coverage and scope of its programs in the two regions. CBCHS and EGPAF will continue advocacy at all levels to achieve the virtual elimination of new HIV infections in children and keep mothers healthy in Cameroon.
"We have reason to celebrate EGPAF's twelve-year association with CBCHS and its partners," said Anja Giphart, vice president of program implementation at EGPAF. "Together, we have proven that we can successfully initiate, implement, and scale up a powerful mix of evidence-informed interventions and innovative strategies-all with the goal of increasing program efficiency, improving service delivery, and enhancing the lives of children, mothers, and families across Cameroon."
"The funding and technical support from EGPAF through Johnson & Johnson and other donors has contributed significantly in bringing down the HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Cameroon, and protected thousands of infants from the risk of HIV transmission," said Professor Pius Tih Muffih, PhD, Director of Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services.
Significant support for EGPAF's efforts in Cameroon came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, the "Call to Action" project through USAID, as well as the many anonymous donors who helped bring this project to fruition. In addition, the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health was a key partner whose diligence and focus has improved the lives of people living with HIV.
To read the end-of-project report, visit www.pedaids.org/Miscellaneous/reports/CamEOP10-24. To learn more about the Foundation's work in Cameroon, visit www.pedaids.org/Cameroon. To learn more about the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, visit www.cbchealthservices.org.