Private HIV Clinics Expand Care, Prevention in Côte d’Ivoire

Dr. Anwanzi Ahui working at a desk
Dr. Anwanzi Ahui fills out government reports on new HIV cases.
Greater access provided to discreet testing and treatment services
“I immediately knew this would provide value added for my clients while improving the national response to HIV and AIDS.”

Jan. 2015—When Dr. Anwanzi Ahui, a physician in Côte d'Ivoire, heard about a private sector network for HIV patients, he was immediately interested. He knew there was great demand for HIV services, so he signed on to be part of the pilot program.

The network is supported by USAID’s Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector project, through which Ahui and his staff were trained and certified by the government to provide HIV counseling and treatment services onsite at his clinic. They were trained on reporting requirements for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and received supportive supervision visits from other PEPFAR-supported clinical partners to improve the quality of care.

Ahui was particularly intrigued by the project because the Association of Private Clinics of Côte d'Ivoire, of which he is a member, manages the project network on behalf of PEPFAR.

His is one of 15 private clinics in the Abidjan region that are local partners of the project, expanding HIV prevention, testing and care services. In the pilot, patients receive free HIV testing and antiretrovirals but the private clinics can still charge for office visits as they normally do.

Private clinics help address stigmatization of HIV/AIDS by offering patients service in a more discreet setting, as many public HIV treatment centers are more visible in the patient's community. Private clinics also allow patients to combine the management of the disease along with their other routine health care needs. 

The project officially launched in mid-September 2014 in Côte d'Ivoire, and early reports indicate immediate impact. To date, Ahui’s clinic has provided testing to more than 480 patients (including 100 pregnant women) and, within the pilot network, more than 725 patients have been tested. Health sites in other parts of the country have inquired when the program will expand to their region.

“I immediately knew this would provide value added for my clients while improving the national response to HIV and AIDS,” said Ahui. “I am confident this new model will improve health outcomes in Côte d'Ivoire.”

As USAID’s flagship private sector health initiative, the five-year Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector program, which launched globally in 2009, involves NGOs and for-profit entities in addressing the many health needs of people in developing countries. The program focuses on increasing the availability, quality and coverage of essential health products and services in family planning and reproductive health; maternal and child health; HIV and AIDS; and other health areas through the private sector.


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