Country Spotlight: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Country Overview

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) began supporting critical prevention services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2001, providing funding and technical assistance to prevention of mother to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programs implemented by the Kinshasa School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina. In subsequent years, EGPAF has added support for care and treatment programs, early infant diagnosis, and sexual and gender-based violence services. As of September 2014, EGPAF is supporting over 340 sites across four provinces in the DRC.

James Pursey/EGPAF

Our Work in Democratic Republic of the Congo

In collaboration with the Democratic Republic of the Congo Ministry of Health (MOH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), EGPAF is increasing the coverage of HIV and PMTCT services, strengthening community and facility linkages, and building local ownership and sustainability of its programs.

EGPAF supports the provision of family-based HIV/AIDS care services through a broad range of activities in DRC, including:

EGPAF is a global advocate for policies that address the needs of women, children, and families living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. In DRC, EGPAF support the Ministry of Health in adapting PMTCT and pediatric care and treatment guidelines, tools, and policies to match international best practices.

As of June 30, 2014, EGPAF-supported programs in DRC have:

Key Projects in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Increasing Access to Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care - Project Kimia (2013-2019)

Taking over after more than a decade of implementation partnership with the University of North Carolina (UNC), EGPAF provides support to health facilities across Kinshasa and Oriental provinces through Project Kimia, funded by CDC through PEPFAR. The Kimia platform uses PMTCT services as the gateway to identify clients and provide comprehensive continuum of care services for HIV, SGBV, and tuberculosis (TB). EGPAF works closely with health facilities, health zones, and the MOH to improve the quality of HIV services.

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Providing a Comprehensive Continuum of Care and Treatment Services in the DRC - The Malamu Project (CDC/PEPFAR: 2011-2016)

Project Malamu is taking a comprehensive approach to providing coverage and improving the continuum of care for HIV services in Kinshasa and Katanga Provinces over the span of five years. In year one, the project focused on providing prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, including syphilis testing, screening for sexual and gender-based violence, and male involvement activities. In year two, the project is incorporating tuberculosis (TB) co-infection services and adding support to pediatric care and treatment sites. Ultimately, Project Malamu will increase the quality and coverage of services in facility and community settings while focusing on local ownership and sustainable approaches. This will be accomplished through key strategies that will ensure that goals and objectives are achieved in an efficient, effective, and sustainable manner. Sustainability and local ownership of activities to ensure lasting effects beyond the life of the project are at the core of the project’s design, and have been strategically incorporated into project activities.

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ProVIC Integrated HIV/AIDS Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Projet Intégré de VIH/SIDA au Congo) (USAID/PATH: 2009-2015)

USAID’s flagship HIV program in DRC, ProVIC’s mission is to reduce the incidence and prevalence of HIV and to mitigate its impact on people living with HIV/AIDS and their families in five provinces (Bas Congo, Katanga, Kinshasa, and Orientale, and Sud Kivu). By integrating comprehensive HIV/AIDS services into local health systems, ProVIC seeks to foster engaged, active "Champion Communities" that are ultimately responsible for their own futures. Led by PATH, EGPAF is responsible for PMTCT and early infant diagnosis activities. In 2010, EGPAF established a network to provide early infant diagnosis services to HIV-exposed infants in the project’s catchment areas. Since DNA/PCR testing became available in DRC in mid-2010, EGPAF has led the way in the collection, transportation, and return of infant testing results.

ProVIC activities evolved as a result of the Strategic Pivot, announced by USAID and PEPFAR in March 2013, with the aim to shift the primary focus of the HIV response in DRC towards refining the existing PMTCT program and building off this platform to ensure a comprehensive continuum of care. EGPAF has been instrumental in leading the ProVIC consortium to quickly and effectively transition to this technical strategy. Originally slated to end in 2014, ProVIC was extended through June 2015 in four provinces (Bas Congo, Katanga, Kinshasa, and Orientale), with EGPAF as PATH's main PMTCT implementing partner.

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Support to University of North Carolina (UNC) (Private: 2001-2011)

From 2001 to 2011, EGPAF supported sub-grants to the University of North Carolina (UNC) for both prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and HIV and AIDS care and treatment programs. From 2007 to 2009, EGPAF supported UNC care and antiretroviral treatment (ART) services for children and families living with HIV and AIDS.

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Support to the Ministry of Health (Private: 2001-2011)

EGPAF is credited with introducing prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) to DRC in 2001. Since then, EGPAF has supported the Ministry of Health with its national PMTCT efforts and has:

  • Provided targeted technical assistance to the National AIDS Control Program;
  • Sponsored a 2007 trip to Rwanda, which led the Ministry of Health to introduce HIV counseling and testing into labor and delivery wards;
  • Conducted a national meeting on the transition to combination regimens for PMTCT;
  • Led the national process that resulted in the adoption of revised guidelines for PMTCT.

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Kinshasa School of Public Health (KSPH) PMTCT Program (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: 2007-2012)

For the last decade, EGPAF has been providing financial and programmatic support to the Kinshasa School of Public Health’s prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) program. By 2012, the program served clients through 55 sites in Kinshasa and rural areas of DRC in Equateur, Orientale, Kasai Oriental, Bandundu, and Bas Congo.

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EGPAF Country Fact Sheet: Democratic Republic of the Congo: Download PDF download

Country adaptation of the 2010 World Health Organization recommendations for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV: Download PDF download

Mentor Mothers: Connecting HIV-Positive Women in DRC : Download PDF download

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: EGPAF/DRC's Response to a National Problem : Download PDF download

Our Program: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Working with Women, Children, and Families to Eliminate Pediatric AIDS: Download PDF download

Country Brief: Democratic Republic of the Congo : Download PDF download

DRC: Malamu Project, Supporting Women, Children, and Families with Comprehensive HIV Services: Download PDF download