A civic Media organization, Liberia Health, and Rights Journalists Network (LHRJN) says has documented the support of an international project, FHI360 in strengthening Liberia’s HIV response over the years through its various activities.
The media groups said it is pleased with the support of the organization in Liberia because such support is providing hope for persons living with HIV and other marginalized groups in the country.
The group said FHI 360, an international organization has been partnering with the Liberian Government and key stakeholders over the past four (4) years to provide quality services in the areas of health service delivery, health systems strengthening, education, pandemic preparedness, and HIV response.
In its investigative fellowship story to highlight the support of partners in the country’s HIV response, the media group said it established during the fellowship that FHI30 has partnered with government institutions and civil society organizations including the National AIDS Commission (NAC), National AIDS Control Program (NACP), Liberia Network of persons living with (LibNeP+), Ministry of Health, Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) HIV Program among others to ensure health service delivery and the provision of high-quality HIV services across the country throughout Liberia.
In partnership with the National AIDS and STI Control Program and other partners, the Liberia Health and Rights Journalists Network said is discovered during its investigation that FHI 360 continues to play a major role in providing life-saving HIV services to over 18,000 out of the (34000) persons living with HIV so that they can live healthy and productive lives in the country.
LHRJN said when the country was hardly hit by the COVID pandemic, FHI 360 played a critical partner role in providing support to isolation and quarantine services, supporting awareness and sensitization, case finding, psychosocial and coordination support, supporting emergency call center at NIPHIL, Star Base treatment center, 21 Health facilities, and Fendell campus precautionary observation center (POC) respectively in collaboration with Montserrado County Health Team and the Incidence management system(IMS).
The media group said it was motivated to embark on the investigative story because the public has not been adequately informed about the compelling positive impacts FHI360 is bringing to the country’s HIV response.
The Liberia Health and Rights Journalists Network, an independent, non-profit organization devoted to ensuring the advancement of public understanding of health and human rights issues said, it also established that the FHI 360 through its EpiC project supported four counties’ health teams in the country including Margbi, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Nimba to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination campaigns and mass vaccination efforts and Infection prevention control materials.
The Liberian media group recalled that over the years FHI360 has worked and continues to work with local civil society organizations to build capacity and engage them in program implementation, some of which are now receiving direct funding to implement various HIV services.
According to the media group, the support of FHI360 has helped Liberia to maintain epidemic control through strategic technical assistance (TA) to improve HIV prevention, case finding, care, and treatment programming, expand the current four modular GeneXpert machines to higher caliber 16-modular equipment at regional high volume ART centers.
The organization cited attaining and maintaining HIV epidemic control among at-risk adult men, women, and priority populations, attaining, and maintaining HIV epidemic control among key populations, and improving program management and financial systems as some of the supports of the FHI360’s interventions to the country.
Over the years, the media group said FHI360 has been has been providing technical assistance for multi-month dispensing with viral load testing, strengthening rapid linkage to treatment and adherence, funding Liberian institutions to track loss to follow-up, scaling up viral load testing, implementing strategies to support the provision of integrated services and intensify tuberculosis screening for persons living with HIV (PLHIV).
The group said recalled FHI360’s support in providing integrated services and the availability of the prevention package for HIV and create an enabling environment to improve the quality access to services for strengthening peer education and navigation.
FHI360 is partnering with the government of Liberia to implement the Country’s HIV national Strategic Plan, a five year roadmap document to ensure reduction of new HIV infections and reduction of HIV-related stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV and marginalized groups in Liberia.