NASTAD Ethiopia has a long history of successful collaboration with the federal Ministry of Health, federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO), and the regional Health Bureaus/HAPCOs to create sustainable improvements in the government health care system response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this country. NASTAD first introduced HIV/AIDS community planning for prevention, care and treatment to woreda HIV/AIDS facilitators to help them develop evidence based anti-HIV/AIDS plan. NASTAD Ethiopia has also been supporting federal HAPCO in its implementation of the Anti-AIDS National Social Mobilization Strategy, which includes Community Conversation, Mainstreaming, Life Skills, and Volunteer Community Anti-AIDS Promoters.
NASTAD OFFICE IN ETHIOPIA
NASTAD Ethiopia has staff located at a Central Office in Addis Ababa and throughout the regions with a total of forty employees. The majority of NASTAD Ethiopia staff members are public health experts co-located at regional health bureaus, woreda health offices, universities, and health facilities to best provide direct support to the regional health bureaus and HAPCOs in implementing their activities.
In addition to the federal level, NASTAD Ethiopia works closely with the regions of Addis Ababa, Amhara, Dire Dawa, Oromia, and SNNPR and every two years identifies the areas of greatest need for improvement and support in the development as its work plan.
Support for Regions and Districts for HIV Planning and Programming
- Woreda-Based Health Sector Planning. NASTAD Ethiopia is the prime partner supporting the Ministry of Health national guidance and efforts in this area.
- Model Woreda Package. In response to regional requests, NASTAD Ethiopia has designed and piloted a model woreda package to demonstrate optimal functioning of woreda health offices in fully implementing existing government strategies and guidelines on HIV mainstreaming, service coordination, and multi-sectoral approach to social mobilization for HIV services.
- Technology transfer of U.S. Centers for Disease Control Evidence Based Interventions by leveraging the experience of Master Trainers and intervention experts from U.S. State Health Departments to modify and adapt three DEBIs (SISTA, Sisters 2 Sisters, and WILLOW) to the Ethiopia culture and context for successful and sustainable implementation by the Regional Health Bureaus / HAPCOs.
- Ongoing Regional/Woreda Support. NASTAD Ethiopia organizes and support the regional and zonal level health/HIV review meetings, where plans against achievements are discussed, lessons learned are shared, challenges identified and action items drawn. NASTAD Ethiopia also conducts supportive supervision with the regional health bureau to zonal and woreda health offices and provides technical assistance, guidance, and support, including the development of checklists, data collection tools, and key informant interviews.
Support Regions and Districts for Community Outreach and Social Mobilization
- NASTAD Ethiopia works with Regional Health Bureaus to reduce HIV stigma and discrimination, improve the community's knowledge of current and accurate information about HIV, increase uptake of HIV testing, initiate and evaluate successful behavioral change interventions with high risk and underserved populations. Some ways in which we do that include:
- Work intensively with local implementing partner organizations, such as Women's Associations, PLWH associations, the regional chapters of the National Association for Women Against HIV and AIDS, and the urban youth center in Dire Dawa to successfully implement small group HIV prevention interventions and build their own organizational capacity to manage USG funded projects.
- Recruit and mobilize traditional birth attendants as community volunteers. NASTAD Ethiopia partners with Regional Health Bureaus down to the community health centers and their Health Extension Workers to improve uptake of pre-natal care, HIV testing, and referrals to PMTCT services.
- (Charter Meetings) NASTAD Ethiopia has piloted a model for community empowerment and engagement to assist woreda health offices and health facilities to engage the community and partners in support of people with HIV to improve patient retention, reduce the numbers lost to follow-up, and improve adherence to ART therapy.
- Operational Research to Prevent Loss to Care. NASTAD Ethiopia partners with the University of Minnesota, two zonal health offices, associated health centers and hospitals, the World Health Organization, and involved USG partners to implement research studies to understand the factors affecting ART adherence and causes of lost for follow up including pre-ART.
Promote HIV Mainstreaming in Public and Private Sectors
- University Mainstreaming and Prevention Package (UP). NASTAD Ethiopia has developed and piloted this package, and supports federal HAPCO and the Higher Education Institution Forum on HIV/AIDS in developing national guidelines for ongoing implementation and scale up.
- NASTAD works with the Transport Bureau, Education Bureau, public factory employees in Addis Ababa under the Investment Office, and SNNPR Police Force to build capacity for HIV programming.
Improve Gathering and Use of Strategic Information at Community Level
- NASTAD collaborates with federal HAPCO for development of standardized national systems.
- NASTAD works to develop and pilot a Youth Risk Behavioral Survey at Ethiopian Universities.