The One to One ART Project
The British Charity, the One to One Children's Fund made a major donation to Kidzpositive at the beginning of 2002 which enabled the paediatric HIV/AIDS service at Groote Schuur Hospital to offer anti-retroviral treatment (HAART) to indigent children attending this public health facility. This funding gave more than 250 children and more than 100 of their mothers access to anti-retroviral therapy before South African government policy on ARVs changed to permit public health service access to this life-saving intervention
This project had important consequences:
- It established a model of partnership between a foreign donor, a local NPO as financial manager and a government institution as the provider of infrastructure and staffing.
- This was the first time, other than as part of a drug trial, that anti-retroviral therapy had been made available to children attending a public service health care institution in our sub-region.
- The donation led to opportunities for operational research in the form of an adherence study and the trial of new techniques of retroviral assay.
- It provided a training opportunity for nurses and doctors in the use of anti-retroviral drugs that has hitherto not been available. As part of this process, the Paediatric HIV/AIDS Service at Groote Schuur Hospital was able to invite Paediatric Helath care teams from neighbouring countries and from the rest of South Africa on training visits. This 'Visiting Treatment Team Project' resulted in the creation of a new organization called Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (PATA).PATA held its fourth treatment team conference in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2008 and now has a membership of more than 100 teams in 22 Sub-Saharan Countries (www.teampata.org)
- It gave families new hope and is changing attitudes to disclosure, voluntary counselling and testing, and hopefully to stigma.
- It improved the morale of medical and nursing staff.