Eliminating Pediatric AIDS in Swaziland (EPAS) Program
The goal of this five-year USAID/PEPFAR-funded project was to assist the Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland in its efforts to eliminate pediatric HIV. This project expanded the availability of comprehensive services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, reduce missed opportunities for delivery of services, and better address cultural norms that keep some women from obtaining these services. The EPAS program made the most effective PMTCT services available to mothers in 100 percent of public facilities and selected high-volume private facilities. In addition, missed opportunities to provide services were reduced through increased primary prevention, family planning, HIV re-testing during pregnancy, and mobilization of pregnant women for early antenatal care and delivery in health facilities.
In addition, the project focused on sustained quality, comprehensive, and integrated PMTCT services at Ministry of Health-supported facilities. Quality was improved through clinical mentoring, training, and supervision, and by facility-based, quality improvement techniques that are already in use. To ensure a comprehensive service package, the EGPAF team accelerated support around HIV counseling and testing for children and couples, referrals and linkages to neonatal male circumcision, and up-to-date HIV care and support.
The project also targeted health sector strengthening, a critical component of the Ministry of Health’s national plan, including PMTCT. Through the capacity building aspects of this program, five key areas were addressed:
- Human resources
- Strategic information
- Logistics management
- Site support supervision
- Program and financial management