Action 10: Promote the revision of national procurement plans to align with WHO recommended regimens and the Optimal Formulary, and support the provision of reliable forecasts and the consolidation of orders.

Action 22: Support the early adoption of priority formulations and diagnostics and take steps to facilitate their wider roll-out, including by developing introductory guidance, materials, and other tools for health facilities.

Action 27. Mobilize their networks and work with communities to help build treatment literacy, generate demand, and expand access to ARVs among children.

Action 28. Raising awareness in global fora about the unmet diagnostic and treatment needs of children with HIV.

Action 29. Promote uptake by mobilizing their networks of hospitals and community structures to distribute paediatric medicines in hard to reach places and in situations of conflict and crisis.

FBOs present:

  • Caritas Congo ASBL

  • Caritas Internationalis

  • Caritas Nigeria

  • Caritas Zimbabwe

  • Catholic Health Association US

  • Catholic Relief Services

  • CMMB

  • Comunità Sant'Egidio

  • Medical Mission Institute Wuerzburg

  • Nyumbani

  • WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

Action 34. Increase efforts to share information on the roll-out of new paediatric formulations, including lessons learned.

Action 22:

Caritas Nigeria participated in Nigerian Technical Working Groups of the National AIDS and STI Control Program to promote the adoption and scale up of optimized ART formulations for adolescents - Tenofovir/Lamuvudine/Dolutigravir (eligible adolescents). Latest was from 17th – 18th June, 2019. Operational support includes:

  1. Deployment and distribution of an approved National Guideline on regimen transitioning to all stakeholders

  2. Training and capacity building of health care workers

  3. Regular audit of transitioning progress

  4. Transport incentives to accelerate transitioning effort among others

 

Action 27:

Caritas Nigeria continues to support of 62 pediatric ART champions in Nigeria to deliver audience appropriate messaging about HIV stigma, testing and diagnosis in children to their communities across Nigeria. Champions and staff are building a stronger clinic-community interphase through afflation of health facilities with congregations for ease of referral and post-test follow-up.

Action 28:

Caritas Nigeria participated in the Caritas DRC ASBL and Caritas Kinshasa (a diocesan Caritas also in DRC) review meeting from 19th – 22th February 2019 for their religious leaders who are referring children for HTS in Congolese communities. Finalized participation in ICASA2019 in Rwanda where plenary, satellites and community activities will be used to draw global attention to the opportunities, challenges and prospects in working with religious leaders to fight pediatric ART.

Action 29:

Support of 62 pediatric ART champions in Nigeria to deliver audience appropriate messaging to their communities across Nigeria. Since last Rome meeting we have scaled up use of free medical outreaches targeting malnutrition, helminthiasis, chest infection, malaria as well as HIV to help identify more children. 6 large outreaches conducted in North Central and South Eastern Nigeria.

Action 34

Caritas Nigeria participated in Nigerian Technical Working Groups of the National AIDS and STI Control Program to promote the adoption and scale up of optimized ART formulations for adolescents - Tenofovir/Lamuvudine/Dolutigravir (eligible adolescents). Latest was from 17th – 18th June, 2019. Participated in the pilot exercise toward the roll of Lopinavir pellet in Nigeria, involved in the training of health care workers at the nationwide scale up of the use of Lopinavir pellet, Currently contribute to the National data on the uptake of Lopinavir pellet in the country. As it stands, Caritas Nigeria has commenced active transitioning of all children from the sub optimal regimen AZT/3TC/NVP to ABC/3TC/LPV/R for 0-3 years and ABC/3TC/LPV/R for 3-6 years while weight eligible children 6-14 year were moved to TDF/3TC/DTG.

28. Equip, mobilize, and support faith leaders, FBOs, people in places of worship, and the wider community to create demand for testing of infants and children.

29. Combat stigma and discrimination among faith leaders and within communities of faith.

30. Further collaborate and coordinate community mobilization, education and outreach to find otherwise hard-to-reach children, adolescents, youth and adults for age appropriate prevention education, testing and linkage to treatment and health and social support services and integrate into the national system.

31. Ensure FBO participation in local and national diagnostic product/supplies forecasting.

32. Support and participate in national efforts to improve the use and impact of pediatric diagnostics and develop national strategies to optimize the use of new technologies and interventions.

FBOs present:

  • African Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) / Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG)
  • Caritas Congo ASBL

  • Caritas Internationalis

  • Caritas Nigeri

  • Catholic Relief Services

  • Comunità Sant'Egidio

  • Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief Program (EDARP)

  • Nyumbani

  • WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

  • Zimbabwe Association of Church Related Hospitals (ZACH)

33. Work to implement new HIVST modalities (such as oral fluid testing) in communities and homes, where national polices and regulations allow for lay implementation with children.

Commitment 28:

Caritas Nigeria continue to support of 62 pediatric ART champions who are religious leaders trained to use the social capital of the Church in Nigeria to deliver audience appropriate messaging about HIV stigma, testing and diagnosis in children to their communities across Nigeria. Champions conducted free medical outreaches in Lafia Diocese, North Central Nigeria which reached 515 children (aged 0 – 5 years) with clinical evaluations & treatment for communicable diseases from amongst whom 431 children aged 0 – 5 years with three children (F 2; M 1) testing HIV positive of the 515 beneficiaries aged 6 – 10 years. An additional 11 pediatric ART champions were identified during this post-training phase activity.

Commitment 29:

Caritas Nigeria provided post-training support to 62 religious leaders trained under the GRAIL project continued with community awareness creation and free medical outreaches for childhood illnesses (which included a HIV test).  Following successful training of religious leaders on the understanding of the fundamentals of HIV which has helped to dispel myths and misconception, the organization has organized about two review meeting to further deepen this understanding. A number of Parishes have organized church based HIV testing showing a positive impact on stigma reduction.

Commitment 30:

Caritas Nigeria, through her PEPFAR funded HIV care and Treatment Program, is implementing pediatric and adolescent specific interventions through collaboration with health facilities and PLHIV support Group Network. Currently, selected health facilities are supported to implement adolescent friendly clinics, weekend clinics, adolescent clubs and Operation Triple Zero (OTZ)  all aimed at enhancing age appropriate education, testing and linkage to treatment and health and social support services.

Between January and September 2019, EDARP has found 2,034 new HIV positive persons and successfully linked 99.9% to treatment.  This includes 1,971 adults and 63 children under the age of 18 years.  From June through September, EDARP is one of the first FBO’s in Kenya to integrate HIV Self Testing into its programing.  EDARP has distributed 2,058 kits during this time and has confirmed results on 678.  4.5% of the returned results were reactive and confirmed positive.  100% have been linked to treatment.  Between July and September 2019, EDARP integrated more target HIV testing toward individuals most-at-risk.  During this period 4,368 partners of HIV positive persons were elicited and tested, resulting in an HIV positivity yield of 17%.  21% of the HIV negative partners are now receiving PrEP.  EDARP is currently providing HIV treatment services for 25,618 adults and 1,457 children under 18 years of age. 85% of these children have achieved viral load suppression.

Commitment 31:

Attended national HIV commodity forecasting meetings with the Procurement and Supply Management TWG.

Commitment 32:

Caritas Nigeria has been part of the discussion and a member of the National Task Team that monitor progress on the pilot exercise on the use of DBS for Viral Load sample collection and use of Gene Xpert as Point of Care diagnostic modality for Early Infant Diagnosis and viral load monitoring.

 

Commitment 33:

CRS FASTER project with CDC and PEPFAR has submitted a protocol for IRB approval of a study on caregiver assisted HIV oral screening of children between ages 2-18 years, to estimate acceptability, feasibility and impact linked to index testing services in Uganda and Zambia.

Commitments 28, 29, and 30:

In February and March 2019, EDARP (located in the Nairobi slums) supported by WCC-EAA and a cooperative agreement with PEPFAR through the CDC provided trainings to 1,300 EDARP Community Health Workers, Young Adult Peer Mentors and to selected male EDARP staff members on the Kenyan National HIV Guidelines including HIV self-testing. They were also trained on new innovations  to improve identification of HIV positive adolescents and interventions to increase retention to care and treatment. The trainings included preparation and orientation of newly identified HIV positive paediatric/adolescent clients, including enrollment in peer support groups (both physical and virtual) and the involvement of their parents and guardians to maximize adherence and retention in care. 

 

The health care providers training was part of EDARPs effort to increase health care providers (social workers, community mobilizers, and facility team leads [who are nurses and clinical officers] in their knowledge, attitude and practices with regards to gender-based violence and work with key populations. This training aimed at 1) enhancing identification of new positive individuals particularly among key populations, adolescents and young people, 2) Ensuring person centered, targeted care to key populations already enrolled on care at EDARP facilities to improve their outcomes and quality of life and 3) improve the identification of gender based violence survivors, provide immediate post GBV care and provide appropriate referrals.

 

EDARP operates in 14 sites in the Eastern Slums of Nairobi with 390 staff, and over 1,200 community health educators and peer mentors; 26.000 adults and 1.500 children on ART.

Commitment 29:

Through the ‘Leading by Example: Religious Leaders and HIV Testing Campaign’, the WCC-EAA engages religious leaders from different faith traditions to promote testing and linkage to services in faith communities, including by providing awareness on HIV and by creating stigma and discrimination free communities. This initiative promotes a strong linkage between faith communities and health-care facilities with the purpose of ensuring that more children are tested and retained for treatment. WCC-EAA is mobilizing and supporting faith leaders (Paediatric HIV Champions) and FBOs in advocacy on paediatric HIV.

52. Ensure FBO participation in local and national forecasting of optimal paediatric drug formulations.

53. Collaborate with GAP-f partners to develop, test, and disseminate training tools for treatment initiation with LPV/r and other optimal pediatric formulations.

54. Support and increase family treatment initiation and retention for children, adolescents, and families by:

  • Increasing identification and provision of same-day/same-appointment mother/infant pair treatment through FBO clinics;

  • Promoting male/father engagement in EMTCT programmes; and

  • Increasing stigma reduction interventions through mobilized faith leaders and faith communities

  • Providing social work interventions to assist fathers to support treatment and adherence of their partners and children living with HIV.

55. Foster and more actively participate in coordinated and collaborative advocacy to:

  • Increase funding for research & development, introduction and scale-up of priority pediatric drugs and formulations;

  • Accelerate regulatory processes for rapid adoption and uptake of optimal paediatric drugs and formulations; and

  • Ensure sustainable access to optimal testing and treatment for infants and children.

FBOs present:

  • African Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) / Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG)
  • Caritas Congo ASBL

  • Caritas Internationalis

  • Caritas Nigeri

  • Catholic Relief Services

  • Comunità Sant'Egidio

  • Nyumbani

  • WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

  • Zimbabwe Association of Church Related Hospitals (ZACH)

Commitment 52:

As a major FBO in Nigeria and having presence in the South-South and South Eastern part of Nigeria, Caritas Nigeria provides a strong representation for the interest of FBOs in local and National forecasting by attending the Procurement and Supply Management TWG.

Commitment 53:

In partnership with HIV Division of Federal Ministry of Health, Caritas Nigeria disseminated a tools to guide the use of pediatric formulation of LPV/R in addition to the job technical support to health care workers provide the services.

Commitment 54:

Caritas Nigeria trained over 100 health workers and volunteers in 4 states in Nigeria on index testing services for HIV diagnosis to increase case identification of children through family based testing. Work on stigma reduction pursued through continued support to the 62 pediatric ART champions in Nigeria to deliver audience appropriate messaging about HIV stigma, testing and diagnosis in children to their communities across Nigeria and Niger.