Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Africa workshop: Integrating MNCH and community system strengthening


Aids Alliance

An Alliance workshop has explored integration of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and community system strengthening (CSS) in East and Southern Africa.

MNCH is a hot topic for Global Fund round 11. In 2009, of the 15.7 million women living with HIV, 1.4 million were pregnant. Among them just over half (53%) received ARVs to prevent HIV transmission to their babies. Of those, 30% received the much less effective intervention of single dose nevirapine and many failed to receive treatment for their own health.

As part of the DfID MNCH programme for East and Southern Africa, an Alliance workshop was developed to address this key focus in Global Fund proposals.

The need to overcome barriers and scale-up prevention of mother to child transmission is urgent in Sub-Saharan Africa. The 22 countries with the highest burden of HIV positive pregnant women are in this region, accounting for almost 90% of all new infant HIV infections globally. In 2009, an estimated 370,000 children under 15 years newly infected with HIV and almost all cases were through mother-to-child transmission.

To address these issues, the Alliance secretariat and the regional technical support hub in Nairobi, developed and ran a workshop in Johannesburg at the end of September titled ‘Integration of MNCH/CSS into HIV Proposals to Round 11 of Global Fund’. The aim was to build the capacity of our technical support hub’s regional consultants, and to position the Alliance secretariat to provide support to country offices and linking organisations in the Global Fund application process. Sessions included: reviewing previous applications, identifying CSS and MNCH integration, reviewing gap analyses, stakeholder identification and analysis, and developing logframes.

Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) has been identified as critical to effective and comprehensive MNCH, in terms of increasing outreach, relevance and quality of programming. The workshop looked at MNCH through the ‘lens’ of CSS, focusing on community-based initiatives for inclusion in country proposals.