Project Name: Communities Against pediatric HIV and AIDS – Project CAPHA
Donor: Positive Action for Children’s Fund (PACF) of the ViiV healthcare
Project Timeframe: 3 years (2017 -2020)
Partners: WAAF as the lead organization implemented this project with support from GEP, Social Marketing Foundation
Geographical Scope: 3 Regions of the Country
- Central Region
- Volta Region
- Brong Ahafo Region
Project Goal/Objective: With the overall goal of contributing to Ending Pediatric HIV in Ghana, the West Africa AIDS Foundation, put together a proposal that sought to assist the Ghana Health Services (GHS) and the National AIDS Control Program (NACP) address four (4) key bottlenecks that continue to hinder progress in Ghana’s National Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) response. These are:
- Low numbers of women who know their HIV status
- Low percentage of HIV+ women who receive anti-retroviral to reduce MTCT
- Low % of infants born to HIV positive mothers who received an HIV test within 2 months of birth
- The increasing numbers of loss to follow up cases which include HIV positive pregnant women.
Rationale: With the advancement in HIV care, it is not surprising that many countries today are working tirelessly towards reaching the Elimination of Mother-Child Transmission of HIV as any child born to an HIV infected mother today, with all the available treatment and prophylaxis is unacceptable. Children today are the future tomorrow and anything we can do to ensure they are healthy is a top priority. WAAF therefore has taken Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission efforts to the next level and will ensure it can do all it can to contribute to Ghana’s efforts in eliminating Mother to Child transmission of HIV. However, to achieve this means that all loopholes need to be addressed and that is where this project comes in as it seeks to ensure very hard to reach communities who fall through the cracks are not left out. Many a time in reaching such goals, communities themselves need to be at the forefront and that is what project CAPHA focuses on – it is all about Communities against Pediatric HIV and AIDS.
Evidence to support the need for the project: Although Ghana continued to make good strides in HIV care, there remained loopholes and programmatic data from the National AIDS Control Program continued to showcase the constraints with women who defaulted from treatment, women of childbearing age who were not tested for HIV and therefore did not know their HIV status, women who were HIV positive and pregnant who did not have access to ARVs due to various reasons, mainly ART sites inaccessible to them and their communities, infants born to HIV positive mothers who did not undergo Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) due to various factors including poor knowledge of the importance of this. As a way to address some of these bottlenecks, involving the communities, especially hard to reach communities was key and therefore WAAF and its partner GEP Social Marketing in collaboration with the Ghana Health Services in selected districts in the 3 Regions ensured to leave no woman of childbearing age and their infants behind when it came to HIV.
Results / Outcomes: The project was able to reach many women of childbearing age including HIV positive (pregnant) women with the needed information to keep them healthy. Those who were positive were linked to care and relatively good percentages across the cascade were achieved as showcased below. This will go a long way in assisting Ghana overall in its eMTCT efforts.