HIV/AIDS continues to have a devastating impact on people living in resource-limited countries around the globe. Over 800,000 newly born infants become HIV positive each year with little access to HIV care. Without intervention, 15%-45% of these infants born to HIV-infected mothers get the virus. In the absence of antiretroviral therapy, more than 50% of children will die before their second birthday and 75% will die by age five.
Simple HIV testing for pregnant women, specialized testing for infants born to HIV positive mothers, and treatment if positive, saves lives. The facilitation of HIV DNA PCR testing of perinatally-exposed infants, and the early-initiation of antiretroviral therapy when identified as positive has proven to reduce the chance of that child dying by 75% in resource-limited countries.
Our Part : The HITSystem
Sometimes solutions require us to think a little differently. This is one of those times. Using technology to improve health is at the core of what we do at Global Health Innovations. In areas of extreme poverty, this can be tough but not impossible. So we put together the HITSystem.
It’s far more complex really, but the HITSystem plays a comprehensive role in improving the health outcomes of women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. This intervention program drastically improves the facilitation of timely HIV DNA-PCR testing and ultimately the early-initiation of anti-retroviral therapy.
The HITSystem is an innovative online system that facilitates improved communication between clinics, laboratories, and mothers to ultimately improve care for HIV-exposed infants. Based on the country specific HIV Pediatric Guidelines, the HITSystem utilizes an algorithm based on the infant’s date of birth to establish alerts for the eight time-sensitive interventions for HIV-exposed infants. Once an infant is enrolled into the HITSystem, they are tracked until they are either 1) determined to be HIV+, initiated on HAART, and linked to lifelong pediatric HIV care, 2) conclusively determined to be HIV-negative at 24 months, or 3) accounted for the rare outcomes of infant mortality or transfer to another health facility. Every step of the EID cascade is monitored by the HITSystem to ensure appropriate service at the right infant age to maximize prevention and treatment outcomes, and targets excessive time lags for laboratory test results.
HEALTH CARE FOR ORPHANED & VULNERABLE CHILDREN
TOO MANY KIDS LIVE WITHOUT ACCESS TO GENERAL HEALTH CARE. WE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE FOR ORPHANED AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN AROUND THE GLOBE SO THAT THEY CAN REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.
The human tragedy of a child becoming orphaned is a daily reality around the globe. These children are not statistics, they are real children living without parents to protect and nurture them. It is estimated that more than 16 million children under 18 have been orphaned by AIDS with 14.8 million of these children living in sub-Saharan Africa. Children by far are the most vulnerable among people living in resource limited countries. Already disadvantaged, limited or no access to basic health care services only throws these children further into poverty and desperation.
Communities, churches, organizations and governments are beginning to understand the desperate need for comprehensive services to care for children who are orphaned and vulnerable around the globe. These partnerships are essential to ensure these children are protected and empowered to reach their full potential in life. Health care provides an opportunity to identify children most in need and provides a foundation that allows them to start living productive and healthy lives.
We feel called to serve orphans and vulnerable children around the globe by designing and implementing programs that provide comprehensive health care. This comprehensive health care includes the facilitation of immunizations, surgical services, provision of clean water, deworming, acute and chronic disease assessment and management, nutritional analysis and programmatic interventions, HIV/AIDS testing and treatment and distribution of thousands of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria. Through professional development training, we are committed to empowering local health care professionals to provide optimal standard of care.