Report Calls on Initiative to Intensify Efforts to Enhance Partner Countries' Management of Programs and to Improve Prevention
UPDATE: 02-26-2013: The archived webcast of the Evaluation of PEPFAR report launch and public briefing is now available online at: www.iom.edu/pepfarwebcast.
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has saved and improved millions of lives worldwide and offered proof that HIV/AIDS services can be effectively delivered on a large scale even in countries with high rates of disease and resource constraints, says a new congressionally mandated evaluation conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
Moving forward, PEPFAR needs to intensify efforts to help its partner countries develop the capacity over time to manage their own programs, sustain the gains that have been made in controlling the HIV epidemic, and improve their citizens' access to services, said the committee that wrote the report.
New York University College of Nursing’s Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM, FAAN, Professor and Executive Director, NYU College of Nursing Global, a specialist in global health, HIV/sexually transmitted infection disease, epidemiology, and patient-centered informatics, was on the committee who authored the report. She presented the findings on behalf of the Committee to the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, which released a statement after the February 20, 2013 report launch saying that they will convene a PEPFAR Interagency Committee to review all of the recommendations and create an action plan.
Even with PEPFAR's substantial contributions to the global scale-up of HIV/AIDS services, there remains large unmet needs, the report notes, and future progress will require partner countries and donors to work together to make difficult but equitable decisions on how to allocate finite resources. As PEPFAR increases its focus on fostering countries' ability to take on greater long-term responsibility over time, results may not occur as rapidly or dramatically as in the past, the committee cautioned.
“However,” Kurth notes, “there remains an opportunity for PEPFAR in its ongoing work to contribute to a quiet revolution in how health aid is utilized, and how overall health in countries can be improved in strategic partnership.”
Ambassador Eric Goosby, MD, US Global AIDS Coordinator echoed that sentiment, saying that “[w]hile our work is far from finished, we believe our best days lie ahead as we work with the global community to help countries reach the tipping point in their epidemics, and sustain their AIDS responses over time.
"During our visits to partner countries, we repeatedly heard PEPFAR described as a lifeline," said committee chair Robert Black, chair, department of international health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore. "People credit the initiative with restoring hope. As it moves forward, PEPFAR must continue to be bold in its vision, implementation, and global leadership."
PEPFAR was established in 2003 through legislation that authorized $15 billion for HIV/AIDS and other related global health issues over five years. In 2008, the legislation was reauthorized, providing up to $39 billion through 2013 for PEPFAR bilateral HIV/AIDS programs as well as U.S. contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. PEPFAR has supported HIV/AIDS programs in over 100 countries, with the largest share of the investment currently in 33 partner countries. As part of the reauthorization, Congress requested that IOM evaluate the initiative since its inception to the present, a task that IOM's international committee of experts carried out through visits to 13 partner countries as well as a mixed methods review of volumes of data.
The study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. The Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council together make up the private, nonprofit National Academies. For more information, visit http://national-academies.org or http://iom.edu.
About New York University College of Nursing: NYUCN is a global leader in nursing education, research, and practice. For more information on the NYU College of Nursing Global program, visit http://nursing.nyu.edu/global.