Grant expands Indiana University-Kenya AIDS program

02/05/04

The success of a two-year program to treat HIV/AIDS in adults and children in Kenya has attracted a one-year, $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The announcement was made today by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The program, Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment for HIV/AIDS (AMPATH), was created by the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, and the Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences in Kenya.

The new grant will allow IU and Moi physicians to increase the number of HIV-infected people they treat in Kenya from 2,000 to 15,000, and to establish HIV treatment and prevention programs in two additional rural communities over the next five years.

AMPATH is a model program that attracted the U.S. AID funding after successfully enrolling and treating more than 1,500 patients using modern HIV/AIDS therapy. It also instituted a successful mother-to-child-transmission prevention program in which more than 90 traditional birth attendants have been trained to care for HIV-infected women using prevention interventions. The program has educated community support groups about HIV, the importance of prevention and the need for testing.

Faculty and students also have established a practical, low-cost, high-production 10-acre farm in Kenya to provide high quality macro-nutrition to HIV-infected families.

AMPATH is opening a new facility in May 2004 in urban Kenya for teaching, research and patient care. A second new building will be opened in the rural community of Mosoriot for treatment, counseling, teaching and research. These and other treatment facilities will feature an electronic medical record system to help physicians track patients and provide better care.

In addition to the increase in patients treated and the two new rural programs, the new U.S. AID funding will:

  • replicate the farm model in two rural sites;
  • develop an enterprise program that will assure sustainable economic security for affected Kenyan families;
  • make the AMPATH electronic medical record system capable of replication in and outside Kenya to support patient care and the uniform reporting of results, teaching and research;
  • fund the additional laboratory services needed to serve a wide region of western Kenya.

The grant will support a full range of educational programs for medical students, post-graduate physicians and providers of HIV care in Kenya to assure continuation of quality care.

"We could not have made it to this point without the years of support of many private donors in Indiana," says Robert Einterz, M.D., director of the AMPATH program and the IU School of Medicine assistant dean for international affairs. "The tireless efforts of IU faculty physicians like John Sidle, Bill Tierney and Joe Mamlin have inspired us to keep at this over the past 14 years."

Drs. Einterz, Tierney, Sidle and Mamlin currently are in Africa working with their Kenyan colleagues on the program. The co-directors of the program are Haroun N.K. Mengech, PB ChB, director of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, B.O. Khwa-Otsyula, MB ChB, dean of Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences and Joseph P. Mamlin, M.D., professor of medicine at Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences and IU emeritus professor of medicine.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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