The candles lit and voices rallying for greater funding for AIDS/HIV wasn’t enough to stop cuts in AIDS/HIV programming, just in time for World AIDS Day.
Despite major progress reached in AIDS/HIV programming, 90 percent of countries with infected populations enacting HIV testing and counseling policies, funding is still greatly in need. In an attempt to improve upon the success of the past five years and align with Millenium Development Goal #6, health care organizations are investing in techniqus to improve the efficiency and sustainability of health programming.
Out of concern for developing sustainable health programming, PEPFAR plans to integrate AIDS/HIV programming into an overall country health programming model.
This past week, World Health Organization (WHO) also proposed a mandate advising doctors to give patients AIDS drugs a year or so earlier due to rising numbers of AIDS/HIV patients. That’s moving the tally from 5 to 8 million patients. The mandate could leave insufficient funding further strained. Meaning even more people might go without assistance.
Prenatal and maternal services could be paired with HIV services, according to Christine Lubinski, Director of Center for Global Health Policy. She considers treatment possibly more effective if two programs are located in the same facility.
Yet, would this mean that HIV/AIDS patients could also expect to share the same health care budget with maternal care?
In the past, PEPFAR has made many valiant attempts to find viable solutions to the AIDS crisis: introducing public-private partnerships. This would be a truly sustainable way to resolve health care programming in developing countries. Thus far, public-partnerships have been in development for over 4 years between PEPFAR.
Motorolla provided a portion of their proceeds to fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. The exact amount hasn’t been disclosed. Voxiva, a technology firm for health care solutions, worked with the Ministry of Health in Rwanda to develop TRACnet. The application collects, organizes and shares data regarding HIV/AIDS care and treatment services.
Increasing accountability is another viable solution for sustainable health care programming. Parners in Health has established partnerships with the governments of participating countries in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, Irish Aid, and Mission Aviation Fellowship. Their success has led to open, revitalize, and renovate 21 public clinics in just 5 years. Partners in Health has also had great success in developing sustainable programming in Haiti over the past 28 years.
PEPFAR has been praised for developing ways to track programming activities throughout the life of grants. The Center for Global Health Policy and other health advocates support the continuation of accountability programming.
PEPFAR is running capacity building health programming in developing countries, i.e.: human, communications and organizational capacity. The agency is running training and task-shifting programming in hospitals and health clinics. The goal is to train 140, 000 new healthcare workers in 15 target countries by 2014.
PEPFAR’s greatest challenges include the low number of medical service providers, the knowledge gap between those providers, and the lack of medical records and longitudinal information needed to evaluate the successes and failings of prevention, care and treatment programs. These challenges are compounded by difficulties in data management capacity, such as the scarcity of trained technology professionals and information management systems. Without this culture of data and information management, implementing technological solutions in resource-challenged environments requires an intensive manual record keeping process.
Yet, programming adjustments take time which AIDS patients don’t have.
The Center for Global Health feels health care funding in developing countries is still insuffient. The agency has sent out a call to action last week for 25.1 Billion towards global health investments by 2010.