On July 20, 2017, the curtains officially came down on CHS first project as a prime recipient of donor funding. The TEGEMEZA Project which begun in October 2011 presented an opportunity for CHS to implement and expand high quality HIV prevention, care and treatment services in four counties of the former Central Kenya – Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Nyeri – and Laikipia. TEGEMEZA came to a close in March 2017 after five and a half years of implementation.
The colourful close-out event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi was graced by health officials from the national and county governments, health workers from CHS-supported health facilities, project beneficiaries as well as CHS staff. Highlights of project implementation and achievements were shared through various materials and presentations. A key highlight was the story of TEGEMEZA Project beneficiaries shared through the documentary ‘Sustainably Transforming Lives Through Health Care.
Speaking during the event, CHS Chief Executive Officer Dr Paul Wekesa acknowledged the support that the project received leading to its overall success.
“Working closely with the teams at county level and with the national government, particularly with the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) and the National AIDS Control Council (NACC), the TEGEMEZA Project has achieved its objectives to a large extent,” said Dr Wekesa.
Key Project Achievements
Over the life of the TEGEMEZA Project, over 1.5 million people received HIV Testing and Counselling Services, surpassing the project target by 28%. Out of these, 29,706 were identified as HIV positive including 2,065 children. From a five-year target to initiate 26,202 patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART), the project achieved 89% of this, having initiated 23,349 patients on ART with a viral load testing coverage of over 80%.
During this project, 100 per cent of tuberculosis (TB) patients who tested positive for HIV were initiated on ART, and 87% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) were placed on Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT) to prevent them from developing active TB disease.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Health and delivering a speech on behalf of the Director of Medical Services, Dr Sheikh Mohammed, the Head of the Division of Family Health said that the project has seen the Central region inch closer to the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. “With 7,981 pregnant HIV infected women provided with antiretroviral therapy and only 4% of HIV exposed infants confirmed as HIV infected by the end of the project, down from 12% in 2011,” he said.
This means that the number of infants infected with the HIV virus at birth in the region dropped by about two thirds during the implementation period – an outstanding contribution to the country’s target of eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV.
Other noteworthy achievements of the TEGEMEZA Project include:
- Participation of project staff in various technical working groups (TWGs) at the national and county levels, contributing to the development of various tools, documents and curricula such as the HIV Treatment Guidelines 2011, 2014 and 2016, 3rd Line ART Toolkit, PMTCT Guidelines, Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (eMTCT) Framework, HTS Guidelines, viral load testing scale-up strategy, HTS Guidelines 2015, among others
- Development and piloting of a model to optimise linkage of PLHIV from testing to enrolment into care and treatment. The model was shared at national level through the HIV Testing and Counselling technical working group and was useful in the development of a similar linkage model that was adopted and rolled out nationally
- Mentorship of over 150 health care workers (HCWs) through a Residential Mentorship model, where HCWs of various cadres involved in providing HIV services were twinned with Ministry of Health mentors for a week-long rapid skills and learning process to help them initiate HIV service provision
- Provision of e-learning support to 13 health facilities through the provision of relevant equipment as well as linkage to e-learning opportunities such as University of Washington Courses and TB ECHO sessions. Over 170 HCWs have received training through these e-learning platforms
Download: TEGEMEZA Project Highlights
Continuity of HIV Services in Central Kenya
In February 2017, CHS received a notice of award from CDC to continue its support of HIV prevention, care and treatment activities in four counties of Central Kenya. Through this award, CHS will continue to support HIV prevention, care and treatment services in Murang’a, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Laikipia counties through the TEGEMEZA Plus Project.
“[The TEGEMEZA Plus award to CHS] …speaks to the demonstrated strong support, partnership and commitment that the [TEGEMEZA] project has enjoyed from development partners PEPFAR through CDC, the leadership of the five counties, supported health facilities and workforce, local communities, as well as the leadership and staff of CHS,” said Dr Kioko in his speech.
“As CDC, we have enjoyed a good working relationship and partnership with CHS, having seen them take their baby steps as a new organisation and watching them grow into the formidable force that they are today. On a national level, CHS is currently contributing to 25% of our targets through three mechanisms [SHINDA, NAISHI and TEGEMEZA Plus]. We are confident that CHS can deliver on the huge responsibility that rests on their shoulders, and we commit to continue working with them to achieve their goals,” said Dr Lucy Ng’ang’a who is the Deputy Director at CDC Kenya.