Helping Expand Antiretroviral Treatment for Families and Children (Project HEART) (CDC/PEPFAR)
Project HEART was launched in 2004 in Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia, and in 2006 in Mozambique. This eight-year project, funded through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saw dramatic results. In 2010, one out of every 10 PEPFAR-supported ART patients in sub-Saharan Africa received their treatment through Project HEART. By early 2012, more than one million men, women, and children received HIV care and support; more than 2.5 million pregnant women received HIV counseling and testing; more than 66,500 pediatric HIV infections were prevented; and more than half a million people started lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Working with a network of more than 215 international and local partners, Project HEART dramatically improved delivery of HIV/AIDS services and ultimately strengthened national health systems by:
- Supporting HIV prevention, care, and treatment services at more than 510 ART sites and 1,053 PMTCT sites throughout five countries;
- Building the clinical, managerial, financial, and administrative capacity of local health providers and partners to more effectively provide HIV services;
- Strengthening program and data quality;
- Improving the technological and physical infrastructure of health facilities;
- Providing sub-awards to local partners and Ministries of Health at the district and provincial/regional levels, in coordination with capacity building
- Project HEART’s innovative practices – most notably using a decentralized district approach, scaling up performance-based financing, and piloting new, easy-to-use technology – have served as best practices that have been authorized and disseminated by Ministries of Health and other implementing partners.
Project HEART expanded EGPAF/Mozambique’s prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and care and treatment activities to include services in labor and delivery wards, postnatal care, child welfare clinics, inpatient pediatric wards, and support for the care and treatment of both adults and children. Approximately one-third of all PEPFAR-supported ART patients in Mozambique received their treatment through Project HEART. In fact, EGPAF/Mozambique exceeded initial project targets for patient enrollment in care and ART initiation by 27 percent.