What We're Reading: Foundation Launches Project to Eliminate Pediatric AIDS in Swaziland
April 29, 2011
Foundation President and CEO Charles Lyons speaks to a
room of more than 100 invited guests at the launch of the
Eliminating Pediatric AIDS in Swaziland project on
April 29, 2011 (Photo: EGPAF/James Pursey)
Today we were reading an article in the Swazi Observer
about the Foundation’s efforts to eliminate pediatric AIDS in the country of Swaziland
Swaziland is a small kingdom within the borders of South Africa, but it faces an outsized AIDS epidemic. It has the highest HIV prevalence of any country in the world.
One in four adults has HIV, and almost half the pregnant women who come for prenatal care also test HIV-positive.
But Swaziland is also a leader in fighting the AIDS epidemic, particularly in preventing new infections in infants and children.
Together with the Swaziland Ministry of Health and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Foundation today marked the inauguration of the $12 million program called Eliminating Pediatric AIDS in Swaziland
(EPAS). The Swazi Observer reported on the launch of this new five-year effort, which will ensure that all children in the country are born free of HIV.
Winile is an HIV-positive, 30-year-old mother of two from
Swaziland. Both of her children were delivered while she was
taking medicines to prevent HIV transmission. Her youngest
son, seen here, is four months old and HIV-free.
(Photo: EGPAF/James Pursey)
EPAS will expand services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) to 100% of public health care facilities, as well as some private facilities, throughout the country.
The launch comes after the conclusion of another USAID-funded project called Call to Action
. Through the Call to Action initiative, the Foundation made dramatic progress rolling out and scaling up PMTCT programs in Swaziland and thirteen other countries. The project reached more than 90,000 HIV-positive pregnant women and their infants in Swaziland alone with PMTCT services.
The Swazi Observer quoted Minister of Health Benedict Xaba, saying that the launch of the new EPAS project would “greatly advance the national goals of universal access to PMTCT services, and the elimination of mother-to-child transmission [of HIV] in Swaziland by 2015.”
Read more about the groundbreaking new EPAS project in Swaziland here
Robert Yule is the Senior Media Affairs Manager for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.