IVORY COAST— The Department’s Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy has initiated a significant step towards combating HIV/AIDS by launching the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Nursing Leadership Initiative.

This groundbreaking endeavour aims to sustain gains and expedite progress toward ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Overseen by Ambassador Dr. John Nkengasong, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Senior Bureau Official for Global Health Security and Diplomacy, the launch unfolded on March 25.

PEPFAR committed US$8 million in 2024 to support nurses spearheading the HIV/AIDS response in Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia.

In these seven partner countries, the initiative focuses on enhancing nurses’ capabilities to lead the planning and delivery of HIV/AIDS services, mitigating disruptions in access to vital HIV services.

Nurses will be empowered to identify, advocate for, and leverage innovative digital solutions to enhance HIV service delivery while bolstering infection prevention and control skills and supporting mental health needs.

Moreover, the initiative prioritizes investing in the development, retention, and equitable distribution of the nursing workforce, aligning with each country’s national priorities to ensure the sustained delivery of HIV services.

It also aims to enhance nurses’ communication and leadership skills.

PEPFAR will collaborate with partner nursing organizations in these countries to conduct needs assessments and guiding initiative activities.

Since its inception in 2003, PEPFAR has invested over $100 billion in the global HIV/AIDS response, saving over 25 million lives, preventing millions of HIV infections, and aiding numerous countries in achieving HIV epidemic control.

Additionally, PEPFAR has significantly reinforced global health and economic security.

PEPFAR, renowned for saving lives, preventing HIV infections, and accelerating progress toward achieving HIV/AIDS pandemic control, operates in over 50 countries worldwide.

It stands as the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, supported by bipartisan backing across ten U.S. congresses and four presidential administrations, alongside the generosity of the American people.

The program’s success hinges on robust partnerships across multiple sectors, targeting populations most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic with tailored solutions, data-driven policies, and capacity-building initiatives.

Through its investments, PEPFAR has contributed to strengthening health systems in partner countries, including vital aspects such as laboratory and supply chain systems, data collection, surveillance, and workforce development.

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