Country Spotlight: Zambia

Country Overview

In 2012, 81,727 HIV-positive women gave birth in Zambia. Of those, 76,963 received antiretroviral prophylaxis to ensure reduced risk of transmission to their children through pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. The mother-to-child HIV transmission rate was 15% in 2013, and there were 20,000 new HIV infections among women and 12,000 among children.

Our Work in Zambia

In 2001, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) began working in Zambia to enhance access to HIV care and treatment services for both adults and children. To achieve this, EGPAF partnered with several organizations including the Zambian Ministry of Health, the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Today, EGPAF-Zambia uses its expertise to build the capacity of the national health program at all levels. EGPAF’s efforts to expand a strong and effective national health system to combat HIV and AIDS have focused on development and management of a health information system in country. We offer support and technical assistance to the country’s strategic information and evaluation personnel and we implement an electronic health records system called SmartCare, which has been associated with improved patient tracking and follow-up in-country. Our programs have also focused on children affected and infected with HIV. Through several projects, EGPAF ensures the health and psychosocial wellbeing of children across the country. 

EGPAF-Zambia advocates at the national level for adoption of treatment protocols and supportive policies which ensure all those living with HIV and AIDS in Zambia have access to the highest quality care. We also conduct operations research to more effectively inform program implementation throughout the country. Our research projects have included analysis of the national roll-out of integrated rapid syphilis testing; assessments on effective interventions for orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) affected by HIV; evaluations of the national antiretroviral therapy program outcomes; and the national PMTCT program outcomes.


Key Projects in Zambia

The LiveFree Project

(2011 - 2016) Under this five-year U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded project, EGPAF-Zambia works closely with the Ministry of Health to provide technical assistance and build capacity in strategic information and evaluation. We support all aspects of the electronic health record system, SmartCare including: development, implementation, training, and management; strategic and programmatic input; and procurement of computer equipment, software, and hardware to ensure high functioning capacity. This system has resulted in improved patient follow-up and tracking, data analysis and has informed many national HIV/AIDS program improvements. The end-goal of this project is to increase the number of patients remaining on treatment.

Through LiveFree, EGPAF also supports the Tisamala teen mentorship project - an adaptation of a South African peer education project - which offers psychosocial support and life skills development to HIV-positive adolescents. The project aims to improve HIV knowledge among adolescents, and provide them with psychological support, enabling them to better cope with the process of telling friends and family about their HIV-status and the attached stigma of being HIV-positive. The mentorship program is currently implemented in the Lusaka, Kafue, Chongwe, and Nyimba districts.

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Survive and Thrive Project

(2012 - 2015) With funding from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Survive and Thrive Project allows EGPAF to provide developmental support to children under five years of age. The goal of this project is to ensure children in Zambia are achieving appropriate cognitive, social, emotional and physical development, enabling them to reach their full potential. Under this project, EGPAF-Zambia aims to enhance the HIV knowledge of parents and caregivers, support community-based HIV services, and expand clinic-based HIV services.

A key component of the project is the Survive and Thrive rooms, located within clinics in the capital of Lusaka, to assess childhood development. The project also works to expand services within existing PMTCT and maternal and child health (MCH) settings to ensure mothers and children are taken care of throughout their lives. In addition, through Survive and Thrive, the participating health facilities provide social and emotional support for mothers showing signs of depression or stress, and allow the assessment children showing signs of developmental delays.

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Strengthening Early Childhood Development in Zambia (The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation)

(2012 - 2015) Under this project, EGPAF seeks to expand access to comprehensive early childhood development (ECD) services for vulnerable children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS in Lusaka, Zambia so they may better realize their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Through the development of two ECD Survive and Thrive assessment and promotion rooms at Lusaka clinics, and in collaboration with community-based organizations onsite in two high-prevalence areas in Lusaka, the project works with parents and caregivers to enhance their knowledge, supports community-based services, and expands clinical services to ensure that young children reach key developmental milestones.

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Country Fact Sheet: Zambia

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Haba Na Haba: Technical Assistance Provision at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (2014)

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Journal Article: Lessons learned from early implementation of B+: The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation experience (2014)

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Technical Report: Pediatric and Adolescent Antiretroviral Treatment in Zambia: Estimating the Cost of Universal Access 2014 – 2018 (2014)

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Journal Article: Pregnancy outcomes and birth defects from an antiretroviral drug safety registry for women in South Africa and Zambia (2014)

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Journal Article: The cost-effectiveness of 10 antenatal syphilis screening and treatment approaches in Peru, Tanzania, and Zambia (2015)

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