Addis Ababa (U.S. Embassy)–The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partner World Vision International marked the successful completion of the Preventive Care Package activity on Nov. 29. The activity provided services in more than 300 health facilities throughout Ethiopia to help mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS. More importantly, the activity improved the quality of life of nearly 400,000 people living with HIV and their families by providing a preventive care package and information on nutrition and treatment. During the last five years, the activity worked in Oromia, Amhara, the SNNP, Tigray, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.
To ensure the sustainability of the activity’s successes, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the relevant regional health bureaus and the city health bureaus of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa to integrate the activity with the regional HIV care and treatment plan.
The coverage of health facilities offering Preventive Care Package services expanded from 197 implementing health facilities in 2011, to 303 in 2016. In addition to receiving Preventive Care Package kits at these facilities, clients receive education on the benefits of using the kits, practicing good hygiene and nutrition for their overall health. As a result, the activity helped reduce morbidity caused by opportunistic infections among people living with HIV. Commodities provided through the activity included long-lasting insecticide treated nets, water purifiers, condoms, water containers, soap; oral rehydration salts and de-worming drugs.
The activity also helped increase the number of people taking advantage of clinical services provided through government health centers and hospitals. By working closely with the government during national guideline development, key preventive care service interventions such as water, sanitation and hygiene services are included in the national guidelines for palliative and community-level care and support services for people living with HIV. Research conducted by the activity has shown that preventive care services significantly contribute to adherence of antiretroviral therapy.
The $8.5 million activity was funded through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and implemented in partnership with local and international organizations including Network of Networks of HIV Positives in Ethiopia, Tulane International/Ethiopia, African Network for Children Affected by AIDS, and Tamesol Communication.