Winning the War on HIV/AIDS
From the Swahili word meaning ‘together,’ the five-year PAMOJA Project is making dramatic progress towards eliminating pediatric AIDS in the regions of Kenya hardest hit by the HIV epidemic.
The PAMOJA Project supports 85 healthcare facilities delivering integrated HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in Nyanza—the region with the country's highest incidence rate—by:
- Expanding access to HIV prevention and treatment services
- Strengthening district health care system and building capacity of its managers
- Providing healthcare workers with the skills and knowledge to treat mothers and babies
Since 2010, the PAMOJA Project has reached 107,021 women with HIV counseling and testing services. Of these, 10,442 were identified as HIV positive and—along with their babies—given ARVs. As a result, mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) rates today are just 1⁄3 of what they were two years ago.
These data are proof that eliminating pediatric HIV/AIDS is an achievable goal. We are getting closer family by family, facility by facility, region by region.
Frontline Success: Ngegu Dispensary
Nestled on the shores of Lake Victoria, the Ngegu dispensary is waging a winning war against HIV/AIDS. With support from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and fueled by the steadfast commitment of health care workers and the community, Ngegu is well on its way to eliminating new HIV infections among infants.
At the start of the project in 2010, Ngegu’s services were severely limited. The clinic could only provide HIV testing and counselling and had to refer women who tested positive to health care centers, sometimes hours away. Today, Ngegu is a full-service facility with a holistic, family-focused approach to HIV prevention and treatment. Ngegu is closer than ever to ensuring zero new HIV infections.
Mothers who come here are hopeful. While they wait for their appointments, many sit under a giant shade tree laughing and chatting about their children’s future. Women like Jacqueline, 42, are grateful for the services at Ngegu. Her appointments last about one hour compared to the more than eight hours she would spend at the district hospital waiting for treatment. She now has more time to spend with her seven children and tend to her small garden.
Bringing HIV services closer to the people who need them, investing in community outreach efforts, and following up with families at the household level is yielding improved client retention and greater efficiency in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Among the 53 women who completed PMTCT services at the Ngegu Dispensary between 2010 and 2012, the MTCT rate in babies by 18 months of age was 50% in 2010, but fell to 7% by the end of 2011. This is remarkable progress in just one year.
These results speak to the impressive teamwork of Ngegu's health workers. The nurses and support staff make sure every pregnant woman has the care and treatment she needs and the support of her community.
Kenya is one of five countries with the highest HIV/AIDS disease burden in the world. Funded by U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the five-year PAMOJA project works closely with Kenya's Ministry of Health and district health facilities to keep mothers healthy and their babies HIV-free. Learn more about EGPAF's work in Kenya.