Call to Action (USAID/PEPFAR)
EGPAF has been working in Malawi under the USAID/PEPFAR-funded Call to Action Project since 2002. EGPAF, in collaboration with local partners, initiated one of Malawi’s first programs to provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services. By 2010, EGPAF had assisted the Malawi Ministry of Health (MOH) in establishing PMTCT service provision at 42 antenatal care (ANC) sites and expand to provide direct technical support to 91 PMTCT sites in three districts, providing more than 203,000 pregnant women with counseling and testing services and approaching 100% antiretroviral (ARV) uptake among HIV-positive pregnant women. Efforts to scale up infant ARV provision have reached 71% of HIV-exposed infants at supported sites over the life of the project. The project also supported a number of innovative programs to reduce stigma and provide psychosocial support to people living with HIV. These include:
- Training mother mentors and peer educators to encourage women to deliver at facilities and to bring their infants to health facilities to receive ARV prophylaxis;
- Establishing peer-led support groups for HIV-positive mothers for lactation and psychosocial support;
- Facilitating a pilot program to provide clean water kits and supplemental food to weaned HIV-exposed infants attending well-child clinics;
- Targeting male partners of pregnant women for counseling and testing through the “Male Championship” program at ANC sites; the “Male Championship” model resulted in improved rates of male partner testing by almost 10 times, from 1,284 men in 2008 to 11,106 men in 2009.
A hallmark of EGPAF/Malawi’s program has been in building MOH capacity to deliver PMTCT services in several maternal and neonatal child health (MNCH) sectors. EGPAF and its partners have made a significant impact in this area, having trained over 2,100 nurses, coordinators, midwives, and Health Surveillance Assistants in PMTCT service delivery since the program’s inception.