On March 30th, Michelle Gavin, former U.S. Ambassador to Botswana (2011-14), spoke to a packed house at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her topic was “What Botswana’s Fight Against HIV/AIDS Teaches Us About Foreign Assistance.”
A just-released short video marks the 25th anniversary of the Harvard AIDS Initiative, recapping accomplishments and outlining work that remains to be done. Fast-paced and featuring interviews with Max Essex, Harvey Fineberg, Deeda Blair, and others.
A good doctor is hard to find, especially in Africa. Although it bears 24% of the global disease burden, Africa has only 3% of the world’s healthcare workers. To address this issue, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will provide $130 million over five years to African institutions in twelve countries. This new program, the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), provides funding to help train 140,000 new Africa-based healthcare workers and improve medical education across the continent. Continue reading →
Max Essex, Chair of the Harvard AIDS Initiative (HAI), opened the symposium with a history of antiretroviral treatment (ART).
Wafaie Fawzi, head of the HSPH PEPFAR program in Tanzania, spoke about the importance of training and teaching.
Botswana’s PEPFAR program concentrated on monitoring and evaluating the national ART program, along with a Master Trainer Program to improve and expand ART coverage. These were explained by Tendani Gaolathe.
Richard Marlink, Executive Director of HAI and head of the Botswana program, showed how the first-year survival rate of people beginning on ART improved over time.
Phyllis Kanki, Principal Investigator of HSPH PEPFAR and head of the Nigeria program, outlined how over one million people received testing and counseling in Nigeria and approximately 160,000 were enrolled on ART.
Delayed flights and missed connections did not keep Prosper Okonkwo, CEO of the AIDS Prevention Nigeria (APIN) from attending the symposium. He arrived just in time to outline the accomplishments of the Nigeria program.
David Hunter, Dean of Academic Affairs at HSPH, stressed how important HSPH’s longtime collaborations in Nigeria, Tanzania and Botswana were to PEPFAR.
After presenting an overview of the program in Tanzania, Roseline Urio listened to other presenters.
A panel Q&A followed the presentations.
“We’re really here to celebrate the achievements of this extraordinary initiative,” said HSPH Dean Julio Frenk, “and to use this opportunity to recommit ourselves to ending the epidemic.”
Alan Garber, Harvard Provost, spoke about what the university has learned from the PEPFAR experience.
David Hunter, Julio Frenk and Phyllis Kanki spoke with fellow presenters and audience members at the reception.