Tulane University will receive $14 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the next year to continue programs to fight HIV/AIDS in eight countries that lack the large-scale public health resources to track HIV infections.
Roughly $8 million of the grant will support the efforts of Tulane researchers, working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and rural Jimma University, to train public health workers in setting up monitoring and evaluation systems throughout Ethiopia, including a patient monitoring system shared by all providers. The grant will also fund lab and networking equipment, computers, and software to link remote health centers so that health data can be collected and shared throughout the country by newly trained public health workers.
"The government has committed to training more than 20,000 village health extension workers and 5,000 new clinical officers in the next two years," said lead investigator Carl Kendall, professor of medical anthropology and international health at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. "There is a tremendous need for training and capacity building to rebuild infrastructure."
Ethiopia's population is estimated at 77 million. Between 4 percent and 6 percent of the country's adults are HIV-positive. Approximately 1.35 million are living with HIV/AIDS, including 120,000 children under the age of 14, according to government figures. The epidemic is estimated to have produced 750,000 orphans.
The remaining $6 million in grant money will fund HIV/AIDS monitoring and evaluation programs in high-risk populations in Haiti, Brazil, South Africa, Zambia, Angola, Zanzibar and Rwanda. Kendall is working with Tulane's Department of International Health and Development, the Center for Global Health Equity and the Payson Center on those projects.
The CDC grant is the last installment of a five-year, $30 million university technical assistance project funded through the Global AIDS Program, the implementation arm of the $18 billion President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief fund.