Côte d’Ivoire, a West African country of about 20.3 million people, remains one of the highest HIV-prevalence countries in the region at an estimated 3.2% of the adult population. Despite significant reductions in both HIV prevalence and incidence over the last 15 years, civil and ethnic conflicts in 2002-2007 and again in 2010-2011 undermined the fight against HIV/AIDS, especially in the north, through the destruction of health facilities, disruption of services, and the large scale displacement of people, especially health workers.
HAI has been partnering with the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health (MSHP) since 1992. In 2009, HAI was awarded a five-year cooperative agreement under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to strengthen HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs in the North and Northeast regions of the country. Since its inception, the scope of the project has expanded to cover four regions (Gbéké, Hambôl, Poro-Tchologo-Bagoué, and Bounkani-Gontougo) and serves more than 200 health facilities. The success of this project has ensured HAI’s role in leading the transition of PEPFAR-supported HIV/AIDS services to local leadership over the next five years under Project LINKS.
Along with working to expand and integrate HIV/AIDS services within the public sector, HAI also partners with the MSHP to test the efficacy of health services and identify ways to improve health delivery systems. Such collaborations have led to two national Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) program assessments, including an intervention project; a multi-country study assessing the impact of simple workflow modifications on PMTCT outcomes; and operations research workshops conducted in collaboration with the Ivorian National Public Health Institute (INSP).
Lastly, HAI is a center of the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health. In this role, HAI supports student-led projects with the aim of building knowledge on key issues surrounding health care utilization and access in Côte d’Ivoire. Students share results with local MSHP leaders and have gone on to present their findings in public health conferences and journals including Global Public Health and Journal of the International AIDS Society.
Please see sidebar for links to Côte d’Ivoire projects