In 2015, IMA World Health in partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development launched its first full-scale project in Kenya. IMA’s work aims to support the country’s most-populated county in delivering health services and helping local civil society organizations respond to the burden of HIV.
The Afya Jijini program helps Nairobi City County deliver health services through a unique approach. Instead of implementing public health activities independently of each other, as is traditional, IMA has shifted the focus to implementing a set of well-defined activity models. While each of the components can stand alone, the power is in scaling them up as one integrated package.
IMA and partners began gaining momentum toward project goals early. For example, to improve maternal and child health outcomes, one of the first steps was to encourage and empower health facilities to see patients on weekends. In the project’s first year, 35 facilities expanded hours in order to open seven days a week in targeted neighborhoods in Nairobi, seeing an additional 10,000 patients as a result—a remarkable accomplishment for all involved.
The project also works through highly-engaged, community-level organizations to reach key populations that are vulnerable to HIV infection. These community groups educate and engage a wide range of community members, including communities of faith, commercial sex workers, IV drug users and men who have sex with men, in order to reduce stigma, promote safety and prevent mother-to-child transmission.
Also in Kenya, IMA’s work under the global AIDSFree project is implementing the community-level component of the Public-Private Alliance for Pediatric HIV, designed to strengthen access to and demand for family-focused pediatric care and treatment services in Nairobi.
As they implement new approaches, the IMA Kenya team is monitoring results carefully in order to learn and strengthen what’s working best, supporting the health system in Nairobi City County as it continues to adapt and grow to better serve its people.