On March 2nd, WI-HER's Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand, Elizabeth Romanoff Silva, and Megan Ivankovich presented at the Global Health Mini University Conference. The title of the presentation was "Gender Integration: The Key to Sustained Improvements in HIV Programs?" The presentation discussed why it is critical for HIV programs and services to identify and address gender issues, and highlighted the USAID ASSIST Project's approach and activities to integrate gender. The session generated a lot of excitement and discussion and received positive feedback. The session presentation and activity handout are available below. For more information, visit the Global Health Mini University webpage: http://www.mini-university.org/content/2015-highlights
Why address gender issues in the Partnership for HIV-Free Survival
Male partners and other family members often influence whether a mother and baby access and remain in care in low- and middle-income countries. It’s important to analyze the social and cultural influences that determine whether a mother accesses and remains in postnatal care, including who makes decisions within families, to be able to respond appropriately.
Engaging male partners or other family members in programs focused on eliminating mother-to-child transmission, such as the Partnership for HIV-Free Survival (PHFS), to educate them about the importance of accessing services, adhering to treatment and remaining in care. This can create champions within families who will support mother-baby pairs to remain in care through the 18-month mark. Family members should only be involved if the female patient is in agreement.
Engaging male partners also presents the opportunity to provide services such as HIV testing for males and linking them to treatment to improve their health outcomes.
Collecting and analyzing data on partner and family involvement is an important step to better plan activities that meet the needs of mother-baby pairs and to achieve improved outcomes.
One major challenge facing children around the world is access to basic education. The second Millennium Development Goal sets universal primary education as a key target for all nations by 2015. And free primary education was identified as crucial to attaining that goal.
Despite the free primary education policy introduced by the Kenyan government in 2003, many children who should benefit from it are still out of school. One community in Uasin Gishu County—Kapsoya—realizing that their children were not attending school or performing as well as they could, through the quality improvement team, decided to intervene.
Improvement Specialist for Gender and Knowledge Management, USAID ASSIST Project/WI-HER
Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Zambia to provide gender technical assistance to the USAID ASSIST-supported nutrition assessment, counseling and support (NACS) services. Gender inequality is a major factor affecting vulnerability to malnutrition, especially for people living with HIV, so I was especially interested in working with health workers to identify the different issues preventing males and females from accessing services, issues affecting their nutrition status, and to identify the root causes preventing improved nutrition among women, men, girls and boys, and developing changes to test to find solutions.