AbbVie helps arm home-based counselors with mobile devices
One of AMPATH’s aggressive goals is to reach every eligible individual for HIV testing and counseling in the 4 million person catchment area in western Kenya. Thanks to longtime partner AbbVie Foundation, AMPATH has surpassed reaching over one million people through the groundbreaking initiative to provide Perpetual Home-based Counseling and Testing (pHCT).
A key component to achieving this goal is the ability to arm each of the home based counselors with a mobile device.
"We will not win the AIDS battle by waiting for sick people to come to our clinics, but only by bringing HIV testing to people's homes in Africa. We are grateful to all our partners—especially the Kenyan Government, USAID and our lead private sector partner, the AbbVie Foundation—who have made this possible through their support,” said Dr. Sylvester N. Kimaiyo, Chief Executive Officer, AMPATH.
Robert Clay, Deputy Assistant Administrator of Global Health at USAID, praised the initiative and said, "We are proud of our partnership with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and AMPATH and the program’s role in addressing the Kenyan government’s priority for HIV testing and advancement of medical care for HIV positive individuals. This program has been a successful example of an effective partnership in fighting HIV/AIDS, in a resource poor setting, which could be replicated in other AIDS endemic regions of the world."
AMPATH is building an operational model of care, with AbbVie Foundation support, that is structured to stop the HIV pandemic. This involves Finding (F) every HIV-infected person, Linking (L) that person to care, Treating (T) the individual, and Retaining (R) that person in care (FLTR).
"We are honored to support the work of AMPATH as they scale-up up their HIV testing and treatment model, which has had an outstanding initial success rate," said Tracie Haas, President, AbbVie Foundation. "By building on AMPATH's remarkable FLTR model, we may finally have the ability to slow down and eventually defeat the AIDS pandemic."
In addition to reaching HIV-positive people and connecting them with necessary services, the AMPATH program is also helping those who test negative by making them aware of their status and providing information and support so they remain HIV-free. This initiative has also benefited from electronic clinical information management systems including AMPATH’s Medical Record System, based on an OpenMRS platform, and use of smart phones to collect and convey information and facilitate modern record keeping that have enabled task shifting and high quality, cost-effective delivery of care.
The campaign was officially launched in 2009 by the Right Honorable Raila Odinga, then Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, GBCHealth and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Early participants in the Health at Home/Kenya Impact Initiative included the Abbott Fund, Accenture, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, CfC Stanbic Bank Kenya (a member of Standard Bank Group), The Coca-Cola Company, Deutsche Post DHL, Pfizer Inc., Premier Medical Corporation, SAB Miller and Standard Chartered Bank.
While historic numbers of patients are receiving modern antiretroviral treatment, the incidence of new infections and prevalence rates remain stubbornly high in Kenya. The pHCT campaign has brought not only HIV testing to hundreds of thousands of people’s homes—mostly in remote areas—but also TB screening, malaria bed nets, deworming medication, orphan and vulnerable children identification, nutrition assessments and the promise of care and treatment if a person is found to be positive. In a pilot area of 500,000 people, counselors are also screening for hypertension and diabetes through blood pressure and blood sugar testing.