The Zambia Defense Force Care and Treatment Scale-Up project supports the broader HIV/AIDS response by the Government of Zambia and its Ministry of Health. The project, which is led by FHI 360, helps the Zambia Defense Force Medical Services to provide more effective HIV and tuberculosis care, treatment and support for adults and children living with HIV or tuberculosis. While the project focuses on members of the defense forces and their families, it includes broader communities as well.
The project’s primary goals are to:
- Strengthen and scale up HIV/AIDS care and treatment services for adults and children in at least 43 facilities by 2021
- Strengthen and scale up tuberculosis diagnosis, care and treatment for adults and children in at least 43 facilities by 2021
- Increase the technical and programmatic capacity of the Defense Force Medical Services to conduct and manage HIV/AIDS programs in a sustainable manner by January 2021
The project aligns with the Zambia Defense Force’s HIV/AIDS strategic plan, which is designed to achieve for the military the 90-90-90 goals for HIV epidemic control set forth by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS). It builds the capacity of military medical services staff to lead care and treatment activities at both the institutional and community levels, including the capacity to effectively monitor procedures such as patient tracking. In addition, it addresses the needs of the target populations through continued coordination with the Zambia Defense Force. This includes the development of curricula and trainings to make the military leadership more aware of HIV and tuberculosis programming issues.
FHI 360 staff work with the military and other stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of project activities, including volunteer incentives. We do so by supporting military and community groups, such as neighborhood health committees, as well as clubs for military wives and other women’s clubs.