U.S. Government, Rwandan Government, and Partners Celebrate the Conclusion of HCSP

December 12, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Espérance Nikuze, +250-25-257-0583, enikuze@pedaids.org

December 12, 2012, KIGALI, RWANDA – The U.S. Government President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MOH), the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), Family Health International (FHI 360), and IntraHealth International commemorated the conclusion of the five-year HIV Clinical Services Program (HCSP), which supported the provision of comprehensive HIV prevention care and treatment services in Rwanda.

Since the start of the HCSP in June 2007, each U.S. Government (USG) partner has led capacity building and service delivery support in different regions of the country – EGPAF in the Eastern Province, FHI360 in the Southern Province, and IntraHealth in the Northern Province.  The partners worked closely with Rwandan governmental institutions at the national and decentralized levels, local implementing agencies, faith-based organizations, multi-lateral and bi-lateral partners, and other development partners.

“The HIV Clinical Services Program in Rwanda has made an outstanding contribution to the response to HIV and AIDS in our country,” said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health.  “We appreciate the efforts of EGPAF, FHI 360, and IntraHealth in building the capacity of districts and health care providers to expand high-quality clinical services and recognize the financial support received from the U.S. government through PEPFAR/USAID.”

Over the life of the project, HCSP supported 163 health institutions in 18 districts and Kigali City.

The combined efforts of EGPAF, FHI 360, and IntraHealth helped to provide 450,000 women with services to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV.

Over 10,000 HIV-exposed infants were tested for HIV, and more than 2,000 babies that tested positive for HIV received treatment.

“The Rwandan Ministry of Health has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the welfare of women, children, and communities in Rwanda,” said Charles Lyons, EGPAF’s President and CEO.  “We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the innovative policies and programs that are helping Rwandans to avert new HIV infections in children, while helping infected children and their parents access life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART).”  

More than 4,300 adults and 3,903 children received antiretroviral treatment (ART) by the conclusion of the project in September 2012.

"We, at FHI 360, are honored to have had the opportunity, through HCSP, to reinforce and expand upon the gains made under previous HIV prevention, care treatment and mitigation projects that we have been managing in Rwanda since 1993,” said Albert Siemens, CEO of FHI 360. "We believe that sustainability comes from building the capacity of individuals, communities and countries to address their needs. We are grateful to USAID, the Rwanda Biomedical Center and Ministry of Health, provincial and district level authorities, and our strategic and implementing partners who together made this program a success."

“We are proud to support Rwanda’s strong national health programs, including its national HIV/AIDS program, focusing on prevention, care, and treatment,” said Pape Gaye, President and CEO of IntraHealth International.  He added, “We have been privileged to work in close partnership with the districts of Gasabo, Gicumbi, Nyagatare and Rulindo to help the MOH build capacity of district hospitals and health centers to provide quality HIV/AIDS and other health services for improved patient care. IntraHealth has appreciated the Rwanda government’s strong leadership and vision, support from USAID Rwanda, and the collaborative stakeholder partnerships that have improved the lives of so many Rwandans.”

HCSP aimed to increase access to quality HIV-related clinical services by building the capacity of national and decentralized health institutions to provide comprehensive HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. Additionally, the project supported maternal and child health, family planning, gender-based violence prevention and treatment, and water and sanitation services.  Since its beginning, HCSP emphasized innovative, evidence-based, and cost-effective approaches to health service delivery and management. Throughout its duration, approximately 60 percent of all funds went directly to districts and health facilities.

Approximately 170,000 people are living with HIV in Rwanda. Of those, 22,000 are children under the age of 15. About 130,000 children younger than 17 years have lost one or more parents to the disease. According to the 2010 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey, HIV prevalence is 3 percent for the general population, with significant gender and geographic disparities. Prevalence among adult women is estimated to be 3.7 percent and 2.2 percent for adult men, while the rates in urban areas (7.1 percent) are three times higher than in rural areas (2.3 percent).

The work of HCSP will continue in a new form through the USAID-supported Rwanda Family Health Project (RFHP).This new project will build on the foundation established by the HCSP, with the purpose of building the capacity of Rwandan institutions to deliver high-quality family health services. Family health services include an integrated package of services related to family planning and reproductive health; HIV/AIDS; maternal, neonatal and child health; malaria prevention and treatment; nutrition; safe water and hygiene; and tuberculosis treatment. The RFHP will build local capacity, promote healthy behaviours, increase the use of health services, and strengthen linkages between and within community health facilities.

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About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
EGPAF is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS, and has reached more than 15 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently works at more than 5,400 sites and in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.

About FHI360
FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender, youth, research and technology — creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today’s interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 60 countries, all 50 U.S. states and all U.S. territories. For more information, please visit www.fhi360.org.

About IntraHealth International
IntraHealth International, Inc. is a US-based nonprofit organization that has served the public health needs of developing countries for 30 years. IntraHealth’s mission is to create sustainable, accessible health care by strengthening health workers and the systems that support them. IntraHealth receives funding and support from USAID, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, private foundations, corporations, and individuals. For more information, visit www.intrahealth.org.

About USAID
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the foreign assistance agency of the United States Government. USAID supports $150 million of development assistance annually to Rwanda, with programs in health, economic development, education, and democracy and governance. www.usaid.gov