The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Five Year HIV Fight Project a Success

A five year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to fight against HIV/AIDS has ended.

The project dubbed HIV Clinical Service Programme (HCSP) has been operational in 18 districts with focus on increasing access to quality HIV related clinical services through capacity building for national and decentralised health institutions.

At an event organised to assess the project achievements, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, the Head of HIV division at RBC told the media that the project had contributed significantly to the national health sector strategic plan.

"In addition to providing HIV health services, capacity building and equipping health institutions in the respective districts, this project is a landmark because it leaves a sustainability legacy behind. Services will continue even when the project has ended," Nsanzimana said.

The director of Kiziguro district hospital in Gastibo district, Dr.Twagira Mukama, said that skills development of health workers capacity to make proper use of the medical equipments donated is also another factor that contributed to the success of the project.

The USAID Rwanda Health Office Director, Lynn Adrian said that Rwanda has progressed in fighting HIV, attributing it to government commitment in working with stakeholders.

"At this level, almost every woman who attends an antenatal care appointment is tested for HIV; and over 80 percent of their partners are tested, up from 66 percent in 2007," she said.

Commenting on the particular project that has ended, Adrian noted that sites providing antiretroviral treatment have increased from 167 to over 400. She said that the project has contributed to this success.

She also pointed out that among other achievements, the project supported over 160 health facilities, eighteen district hospitals, 142 health centers especially in areas providing integrated clinical service delivery.

She said this will enable health institutions to join HIV prevention and care with maternal and child health and family planning services.

Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and the Ministry of Health have been working with the implementing partners of the project, including Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Family Health International and IntraHealth International.

Meanwhile, a new project called Rwanda Family Health Project (RFHP) still funded by USAID is on. It will take on activities that have been initiated by the HCSP.

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