PEPFAR’s Four-Country Special Initiative

Jun 13, 2014 |

PEPFAR has announced a special initiative for the youngest children [PDF, 631KB] in the epidemic as part of its Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) programming.  A growing understanding of the importance of early childhood development and the impact that HIV and AIDS have on the development of an HIV and AIDS-exposed child has prompted PEPFAR to examine how best to increase the attention to the health and developmental needs of these young children and their mothers.

Four countries – Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe – have been chosen to participate in an OVC-led special integration initiative that brings together OVC programming with pediatric treatment and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) platforms. This special initiative focuses on developing and making available an integrated intervention package for very young children (ages 0–5) impacted by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Programs in the four countries will integrate and evaluate specific interventions to enhance practical understanding of how the OVC and clinical platforms are mutually reinforcing.

Integrated interventions included in this special initiative will be jointly implemented by USAID and CDC. It also will promote early childhood development, nutrition and family strengthening (including household economic strengthening and parenting skills) while at the same time supporting the identification and retention of HIV-positive children and their caregivers on treatment. Integrated services are being designed and rolled out along with randomized control trial intervention studies to improve implementation science and learning.