Helping Expand Antiretroviral Treatment for Families and Children (Project HEART) (CDC/PEPFAR)
Under Project HEART with support from PEPFAR, EGPAF-Zambia provided HIV care and treatment services since 2004 in Lusaka, Southern, Eastern, and Western provinces, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services since 2002 in Lusaka, Eastern, and Western provinces. EGPAF’s main implementing partner was the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), a research, training, and service provision organization originally affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). EGPAF/Zambia provided HIV care and treatment activities in 476 sites across Lusaka, Southern, Eastern, and Western provinces. Of all the patients supported across the five countries where Project HEART worked, Project HEART/Zambia accounted for the highest number of patients, with a total of 297,843 cumulatively enrolled in care and 196,122 patients cumulatively initiated on treatment, accounting for half the children enrolled in the country.
Project HEART also sought to invest in the training and mentoring of health staff in order to contribute to improvements in pediatric care and treatment. In Zambia, the project enhanced provider capacity through a pediatric mentorship program and targeted training of nurses in counseling and psychosocial support for children and caregivers, which increased the confidence and self-efficacy of health staff to treat children and their families. The program also trained more than 7,700 physicians, nurses, and other health care workers on proper antiretroviral therapy, in line with national guidelines.
EGPAF built in-country capacity through support of the national electronic patient records system (SmartCare) by providing financial management and information technology (IT) staff, and procuring computer equipment and hardware. As of March 2011, SmartCare was deployed in more than 570 facilities throughout Zambia, and has been adopted by the MOH as their patient records system.