The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - September 2009 Newsletter


   

Inside this Edition:

Secretary Clinton Formally Swears-in Dr. Eric Goosby as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator [more]
Public-Private Partnership to Improve Food Processing in Africa [more]
Athletes Leverage Basketball to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness [more]
Ambassador Eric Goosby Visits Zimbabwe, Discusses Health Sector [more]
PEPFAR Social Media Resources [more]


Secretary Clinton Formally Swears-in Dr. Eric Goosby as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

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On September 17, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally administered the Oath of Office to Dr. Eric Goosby, Ambassador- at-Large and Global AIDS Coordinator. "Public service of the kind that Eric performs every day is never a solo act. It is made possible by a strong support network of family and friends, of colleagues across our country, and indeed, for Eric, across the world. So on behalf of the State Department and the people worldwide whose lives will be saved and touched by Eric's work and leadership, I really want to thank your family. Because it was no easy decision to uproot yourself and come here to, once again, answer the call of duty," said Secretary Clinton.

During her remarks, Secretary Clinton praised Ambassador Goosby's past work and said that she looked forward to working with him in the fight against global AIDS.

"I watched Eric at work during the Clinton Administration and I admired his extraordinary energy, his formidable understanding of this epidemic, and his innovative ideas about how to fight it. He has thought about AIDS from every angle and knows better than so many what needs to be done to really create a committed, comprehensive approach. And now after years of following and admiring his work, I am so delighted to be working with him here at State," she said.

Secretary Clinton also reaffirmed the Obama Administration's commitment to the combating global AIDS as a central piece of the foreign policy and global health agenda.

"President Obama and I are deeply committed to PEPFAR's continued success. We will work through PEPFAR and with our global partners, to expand access to

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally administers the Oath of Office to Dr. Eric Goosby, Ambassador-at-Large and Global AIDS Coordinator. Photo by State Department
prevention, care, and treatment. And we see PEPFAR's potential to serve as a platform upon which to build other essential health services for individuals and families through the Obama Administration's Global Health Initiative and our commitments to partner with governments to help them develop their own capacity to fight the disease and the epidemics that they themselves are confronting," said Secretary Clinton.

During his remarks, Ambassador Goosby also reiterated this commitment.

"One of the reasons that I was willing to change my life dramatically, and move from a situation that was good in every respect, to this extraordinary opportunity is because I believe that both Secretary Clinton and President Obama have a strong commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS - I know they do - and the work of the U.S. Government through PEPFAR," he said. "The Secretary and the President want to maintain and improve our successful global AIDS efforts and they have given me every indication that we will move with PEPFAR, working in conjunction with our global partners, expanding access to prevention, care, and treatment, and that they want to use PEPFAR as the platform from which we will expand critically needed healthcare systems for people on the planet."

But Goosby, a 25 year veteran in the HIV-community, reminded those in the audience that there is still much to be done.

"But the crisis for AIDS is by far not over. It's not even close to being over. There is still a massive unmet need for prevention. A huge, massive, unmet need for care, and a growing unmet need for treatment." he said.

Ambassador Goosby particularly highlighted the need to reach most-at-risk populations, as well as women and girls, with HIV prevention, treatment, and care. He also emphasized the need to end stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and to continue to build health systems that enable partner governments to take ownership of their HIV response.

"We need to come together at the global level now to collectively converge our resources to respond to this expanding epidemic," he said.




Public-Private Partnership to Improve Food Processing in Africa

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On September 25, 2009, a public-private partnership with General Mills, a leading U.S. food company, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was announced at the closing of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. This partnership will improve the capacity of small and medium- sized food businesses across sub-Saharan Africa to produce healthy, fortified food products.

The partnership will link the technical and business expertise of General Mills and up to nine additional food companies with up to 200 small and medium-sized mills and food processors in 15 sub-Saharan African countries. The partnership aims to improve the ability of these small and medium-sized enterprises to produce high-quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices. The partnership, which could potentially reach a value of $21 million, will also benefit an estimated 1.6 million smallholder farmers who supply these businesses.

A key component of the United States global Food Security initiative is to help countries link small farmers to local markets to increase family income and food security. By improving the manufacturing and business practices of these local firms, this partnership will strengthen that local market for small farmers and will enable the businesses to produce better quality food products at lower costs.

Through PEPFAR, America supports life-saving antiretroviral treatment for over two million people in Africa. For severely malnourished patients, PEPFAR programs may prescribe therapeutic and supplemental foods to ensure the effectiveness of treatment. Yet, many countries rely on expensive food imports. This partnership will source foods locally, stimulating the local economy, and promoting food security in areas heavily affected by HIV/AIDS.

General Mills, a leading U.S. food company, USAID and PEPFAR have launched a public-private partnership that will improve the capacity of small and medium-sized food businesses across sub-Saharan Africa to produce healthy, fortified food products. Photo courtesy of General Mills

"If PEPFAR HIV/AIDS programs and broader health and development efforts are going to be sustainable, they must be owned and led by partner countries," said Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. "This partnership with General Mills and USAID will support local food companies to help meet the nutritional needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, while bringing health benefits to the larger population through improved nutrition and broader economic development."

The long-term vision shared by General Mills and the U.S. Government is for the partnership is to engage multiple food companies and food industry-related associations to provide similar expertise to processors in Africa. The core expertise of food scientists, process engineers, and operations managers will have a transformative effect on the African agribusinesses, making the beneficiary firms' operations more efficient and expanding their potential markets and product offerings.

The U.S. Government will work across agencies addressing health and development to connect General Mills and other partner food companies to the beneficiary small and medium-sized enterprises on the ground. Over three years, the consortium of companies is expected to contribute up to 218,000 labor hours – worth up to $17 million. General Mills' total contribution is expected to be $5.4 million, comprised of cash and 65,000 labor hours. The U.S. Government commitment is initially expected to be $1.8 million, potentially ramping up to $4 million as more companies join the consortium.




Athletes Leverage Basketball to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness

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In September, National Basketball Association (NBA) star Jason Maxiell of the Detroit Pistons and six-time Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) all-star Nykesha Sales conducted a three-day series of basketball workshops promoting HIV/ AIDS awareness in Kampala, Uganda.

At these clinics, the two professional athletes worked with local basketball coaches and Ugandan youth ages 7-17 in an effort to show them how success in sports can be translated into the development of life skills and achievements in the classroom. The basketball players also highlighted the importance of HIV prevention, treatment and care.

Maxiell and Sales' visit to Uganda was part of the U.S. Department of State's partnership with the National Basketball Association that has enabled current and former NBA and WNBA players to lead basketball clinics in Bahrain, Georgia, Mozambique, the Philippines, Qatar, and Uganda.

Through this program, current and former NBA and WNBA players host a series of basketball clinics abroad to improve basketball skills and foster teambuilding, as well as engage local youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, teamwork, leadership and respect for diversity.

Sponsors of the events in Kampala included Uganda Christian University, Coca-Cola, YMCA, Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations, Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and MTN.

National Basketball Association star Jason Maxiell and six-time Women’s National Basketball Association all-star Nykesha Sales pose with clinic participants. Photo by Uganda PEPFAR Team



Ambassador Eric Goosby Visits Zimbabwe, Discusses Health Sector

PEPFAR Logo In September, Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, travelled to Zimbabwe to discuss the country's health sector with government officials, non-governmental organizations and members of civil society.

"We are happy to have an open dialogue with government and civil society that allows us to strengthen and refocus our efforts to identify and retain patients in care…and decrease high risk behavior that has burdened this country for the past 25 years," said Goosby.

Top U.S. Government Officials Robert Clay, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and RJ Simonds, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also joined Goosby in Zimbabwe.

During this three day trip, Ambassador Goosby toured several PEPFAR-supported projects, including the Opportunistic Infections Clinic at the Parirenyatwa Hospital. At the clinic, Ambassador Goosby met with staff and patients to discuss the current state of Zimbabwe's health system.

Currently, PEPFAR supports antiretroviral drugs for 40,000 out the 155,000 people living with HIV/ AIDS receiving treatment in Zimbabwe. PEPFAR also supports the delivery system that supplies 100 percent of those on antiretroviral therapy.

Ambassador Goosby also met with staff and patients at the PEPFAR-supported male circumcision site at the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council offices at Harare Hospital.

Goosby commended the commitment of the country's health care workers and care givers.

"[There is] a willingness to maintain their engagement and to increase their focus and work on trying to alleviate the suffering and to respond to the needs that are in front of them," he said.

Goosby said he is confident about the future of Zimbabwe's health sector and looks forward to partnering with the country to achieve its goals of supporting efforts to increase service delivery capacity and creating sustainable health care systems.

"I'm optimistic that we will be able to use the talent and experience of our in-country PEPFAR team and their knowledge of the situation on the ground to develop a response that fits the existing health infrastructure, supports it, and reinforces it in a way that creates a durable and lasting response."

Through PEPFAR, the U.S. Government is the leading provider of bilateral HIV/AIDS assistance to Zimbabwe.

Between 2004 and 2008, the U.S. Government provided nearly $109 million to Zimbabwe to support comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programs.






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