IMA World Health/Kara Eberle
MA World Health recently participated in Building on Firm Foundations: The 2015 Consultation on Strengthening Partnerships Between Faith-Based Organizations and PEPFAR to Build Capacity for Sustained Responses to HIV/AIDS.
IMA was represented by Doris Mwarey, IMA staff seconded to Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP). She was among many participants who helped develop recommendations that will inform the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) leadership in ongoing efforts to build strong, sustained partnerships with faith-based organizations.
Each participant played an “essential role in drafting these recommendations,” John Blevins, Acting Director of Interfaith Health Program, Emory University, wrote in an email.
IMA’s history of HIV/AIDS response began by addressing HIV in 2004 with the launch of the PEPFAR-funded AIDSRelief Program in Tanzania. There, IMA partnered with Catholic Relief Services, the Ministry of Health and local NGOs to build capacity for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment in three dozen faith-based health facilities. IMA supported sites and training to improve and scale up Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT), HIV testing and counseling (HTC), antiretroviral therapy (ART), and care services.
Today, IMA continues that work in Tanzania and more broadly in Sub-Saharan Africa through direct HIV programming and by integrating HIV/AIDS interventions successfully into broader health care packages.
IMA also serves as partner on the USAID-funded global AIDSFree project. Under the leadership of JSI, IMA is helping scale-up evidenced-based HIV prevention, care, and treatment practices in high-burden HIV countries. IMA specifically helps build the capacity of faith-based networks to address HIV effectively.
“Now more than ever, strong collaboration is essential to sustaining the hard-won progress that has been made against HIV,” Blevins wrote in his email.
The Consultation will help chart a course that will sustain partnerships between PEPFAR and faith-based organizations now and in the future.