NASTAD Global 2017 Year in Review

By Lucy Slater December 22, 2017

As another year draws to a close, I want to give a special thank you for all the hard work and dedication of NASTAD staff, contractors and consultants in Ethiopia, Haiti, Mozambique, Guyana, Central America, South Africa, the Caribbean and in the U.S. Their commitment for the work and the people is what keeps me going, and allows me to truly believe that we will see an end to HIV and AIDS in our lifetime.

In 2017 we also shared many triumphs and cause for celebration for NASTAD Global. In particular, congratulations to NASTAD Ethiopia who just celebrated their 10-year anniversary. We had a great celebration in November. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished, and look forward to all that you will accomplish in these next 10 years.

It is always sad to say farewell, yet at NASTAD we congratulate and send best wishes to staff who are moving on to new career opportunities, including Elizabeth VanDerWoude, our Senior Director of Finance and Accounting, as well as Kevin Trotter, our Senior Manager for Operations. And we extend a very special thanks and best wishes to Mark Griswold, Country Lead for Haiti, as he steps back from public health work to fulfil on his personal dream of becoming a farmer!

Other highlights throughout the year include:

January

  • As part of the new mission for NASTAD to address social injustice in response to the epidemics, NASTAD HQ participated in a three day “Undoing Racism” workshop. The workshop focused on staff’s understanding of how racism impacts our public health agenda. We were fortunate to have Dr. Tshi, from NASTAD South Africa, join us in Washington, DC for the workshop.
  • We convened a study tour for the CDC DGHA prevention team at the New York state health department, to learn more about how partner notification services are conducted in the U.S.

February

  • NASTAD released a statement on the risk of sexual transmission of HIV from virally suppressed people living with HIV. The statement affirms that people with HIV who have achieved and consistently sustained viral suppression do not transmit HIV to others.
  • NASTAD Ethiopia submitted a proposal to USAID Ethiopia for community ART care and treatment programming.

March

  • NASTAD and CDC Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute released a report assessing Ethiopia’s readiness for HIV case-based surveillance. The Proof of Concept: Case-Based Surveillance for HIV in Ethiopia evaluated existing HIV-related service data and the collection, management and reporting processes.
  • As mentioned, NASTAD Haiti received an award from CDC Haiti for their demonstrated success in establishing on of the world’s first HIV case-based surveillance systems in a resource constrained setting, and even more importantly, enabling the data to be used to design and implement several innovative linkage to care projects.
  • The Global Program Advisory Committee (GPAC) met and was expanded to include representatives from NASTAD’s membership (Guam and Washington state), Friends of the Global Fund, AmFAR, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

April

  • Kicked off year three for most of our cooperative agreements.
  • NASTAD Ethiopia partnered with the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office, and CDC-Ethiopia Prevention, Care & Treatment and SI Branches to deliver a Partner Services training to 28 attendees from health centers and hospitals, Woreda Health Offices, and Regional Health Bureaus of Addis Ababa and Oromia.

May

  • NASTAD Global HQ participated in U.S. Congressional office visits during the Annual Meeting. Members of Congress were provided with funding asks, and a Global Program fact sheet was shared. NASTAD Haiti staff participated in the visits.
  • Dr. Ermane Robin, Haiti Ministry of Health, was recognized during the Annual Meeting for his significant contributions to HIV care and service

June

  • NASTAD Haiti hosted staff from headquarters and NASTAD South Africa for a comprehensive study tour of Haiti’s HIV case-based surveillance system, SALVH.
  • NASTAD Global HQ, upon completion of three consecutive Organizational Capacity Assessment and Action Planning workshops in Mozambique, finalized the provincial action planning process.
  • NASTAD Ethiopia held a training for Partner Services providers and supervisors, in collaboration with the Addis Abba City and the Oromia Regional Health Bureaus.

July

  • NASTAD launched the VOICES campaign to highlight individuals and organizations that are working to end the HIV and hepatitis epidemics by telling personal stories. Please consider sharing stories.
  • NASTAD Haiti, supported by Solutions and I-TECH, launched their first partner services training for community health workers and focal point persons from 10 partner services pilot sites.
  • Between June and July, NASTAD Global HQ held a series of planning meetings with CDC-Central America Region (CAR), and the Ministries of Health of Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

August

  • NASTAD initiated a new project in partnership with IDI Uganda in support of scale up of Partner Services, and Patient Linkage Retention interventions.

September

  • NASTAD received funds from ministries of health in Jamaica and Barbados to improve access to care and treatment for key populations through a combination of improved surveillance (VICITS), KP stakeholder engagement, and targeted KP outreach, testing, and linkage to care interventions at selected facilities.

October

  • NASTAD Global HQ submitted comments to Secretary Tillerson, U.S. State Department, condemning the Global Gag Rule and highlighted the impact for the global fight to end HIV and AIDS.
  • Country Leads traveled to Washington, D.C. to engage in strategic planning, and to receive organizational updates.

November

  • Thu-Ha Dinh became NASTAD’s new Project Officer for our CDC Headquarter cooperative agreement 1508.
  • We have also successfully submitted all Year 04 continuation applications for Caribbean, Central America, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and HESIB.
  • NASTAD Ethiopia office celebrated their 10-Year Anniversary. Terrance Moore, Lucy Slater, Anne Sites, and Randy May from NASTAD HQ were in attendance.
  • NASTAD HQ staff—Terrance Moore, Stephanie Porter, and Randy May—visited our NASTAD South Africa office.
  • NASTAD Global HQ staff participated in the CDC Caribbean Region Office (CRO) partner’s meeting in Jamaica to discuss progress made in FY2017, and opportunities for collaboration between partners. The Global Program Advisory Committee (GPAC) participated in a conference call, and received program and organization updates. Members also shared updates.

December

  • NASTAD co-sponsored a World AIDS Day event hosted by the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP) and Global AIDS Policy Partnership (GAPP) at the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • NASTAD released a World AIDS Day video interview between U.S. Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and NASTAD Chair Shanell McGoy.

All this in one year! It makes me excited for the new year. I wish you and your loved ones all the best in the coming year.