246579 Integrating Angola's Health Services: A Powerful Tool for PMTCT

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:06 PM

Margarita Gurdian, Chief of Party , Angola Essential Health Services Program/Servicos Essenciais de Saude, Luanda, Angola
Jhony Juárez, MD, MPH , Angola Essential Health Services Program/Servicos Essenciais de Saude, Luanda, Angola
Isilda Neves, MD, MPH , Department of Public Health and Endemic Diseases, Luanda Provincial Health Directorate, Luanda, Angola
Adelaide de Carvalho, MD, MPH , National Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Luanda, Angola
Angola's HIV prevalence rate hovers around 2 percent while the average rate in neighboring countries exceeds 15 percent; a 2009 estimate indicates that 210,481 individuals are living with HIV. Angola has shown particular success reducing HIV prevalence in pregnancy — from 3.1 percent in 2007 to 2.3 percent in 2009 — through a coordinated Ministry of Health (MOH) effort working with the National Institute for the Fight against AIDS (INLS) and others.

A combination of strategies led to this decrease. In 2008, the MOH took steps to integrate HIV counseling and testing services for all pregnant women in facilities with antenatal care programs. Since then, the INLS and cooperating agencies and organizations have been working to ensure that HIV counseling and testing (VCT) is part of antenatal care.

In October 2007, the Essential Health Services Program (EHSP), financed by USAID, joined the MOH, Health Provincial Directorates, the National Reproductive Health program, and the INLS in this effort. EHSP helped establish almost 35 percent of VCT services in the country and targeted communities with HIV prevention messages as part of an information, education, and communication campaign.

The MOH's decision to support service integration to reduce HIV/AIDS discrimination and stigma (by offering both antenatal care and VCT/PMTCT services in the same facilities) and promote patient-friendly services to reduce missed opportunities has shown results. The number of pregnant women counseled and tested is increasing, and those who test positive can immediately access PMTCT services to ensure their children are born HIV free.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the Angolan Ministry of Health’s (MOH) coordinated approach to reducing HIV prevalence in pregnancy. 2. Describe and justify the Angolan MOH’s health services integration strategy. 3. Discuss how the Angola experience for reducing HIV prevalence through integrated care may be applied to other countries with similar challenges.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee all technical activities for the Angola Essential Health Services Program (EHSP).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.