The Partnership for HIV-Free Survival (PHFS) is a six-country initiative created by WHO and PEPFAR to accelerate the implementation of national guidelines for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and infant feeding in the context of HIV. Launched in March 2013 among the six member countries—Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda—the Partnership’s ultimate goal is to increase HIV-free survival of children born to HIV-infected mothers in the postnatal period through a quality improvement approach.
The Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA) in Mozambique hosted the southern regional PHFS meeting in Maputo from October 23–24 with government ministries from Lesotho, Mozambique, and South Africa and partners including USAID, CDC, WHO, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), HEALTHQUAL International, University Research Co., LLC (URC), UNICEF, and several FHI 360 projects. At the meeting, representatives from the three countries reported on progress made in implementing the PHFS quality improvement approach, shared experiences and challenges of implementation, and worked together to find solutions. The four primary topics discussed include: (1) retention of mother-infant pairs, (2) implementation of nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS), (3) knowing the HIV status of every mother‐infant pair, and (4) ensuring optimal antiretroviral therapy coverage for every mother‐infant pair. At the end of the meeting, country work plans were revised to reflect lessons learned during the meeting and next steps for each country were documented and shared.
In the next six months, country teams will focus on building commitment among stakeholders, developing capacity for quality improvement, strengthening data systems, and demonstrating results. Another regional meeting is planned to take place after six months.
Dulce Nhassico, Senior Technical Officer, FANTA Mozambique, and a colleague present Mozambique’s storyboard at the PHFS regional meeting.