The following is part of a series of project updates from the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA). MHTF is supporting their project, Working on Integration Issues of HIV/AIDS and Maternal Health. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here.
Written by: CEDPA
CEDPA with the support of MHTF started an initiative to advocate for integration of HIV and Maternal Health programs and policies at the state (Rajasthan) and India. The specific objectives are to review and compile strategic information on integrated programs and policies. By building consensus through consultation at state and national level among policy makers, recommendations on strategies will be developed to address and advocate the issues of integration on HIV and maternal health. We are conducting a desk review of information on integrated programs and policies highlighting replicable lessons related to services and convergence. CEDPA proposes to review evidence and collate and document information on programs and policies which will include gaps, needs and best practices to further improve services and efficiency with regards to integration of HIV and Maternal Health. This document will include global level policy commitments and guidance towards integration, systematic review of evidence on integration, lessons from India and the global context, and evidence from ongoing programs on convergence of MH-HIV in India. For documenting best practices and case studies on the integration issues, we have shared the matrix with different forums and organizations like Solution exchange, Eldis community and Saathii network (Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India).
In our quest for finding linkages and integration, we participated in a meeting of about 30 individuals on November 2, 2010 at Delhi. This meeting was organized by Impact to get feedback and input for a comprehensive policy that would be helpful in designing and implementing a minimum support package of schemes and services for women living with HIV and children affected by HIV in the state of Rajasthan. Many people from NGOs, multilaterals, UN agencies, government and the private sector participated in the consultation meeting. CEDPA too participated, since we are in the process of collating, documenting and analysis of information on programs and policies with regards to integration of HIV and Maternal Health in India and specifically in Rajasthan. This initiative is being supported by UNIFEM. Various consultations have been undertaken with local partners at villages, district and state level to gather inputs to draft a policy. This draft policy is to be submitted to Government of Rajasthan in December 2010.
The draft document shared at this meeting highlighted the need to integrate and converge with various other schemes and services which thereby will strengthen the existing service delivery networks of people living with HIV. Further to this discussion, it was felt that there should be service integration of maternal health and HIV including activities to bring about behavioral and social change. Other topics of inclusion in the policy draft were on mental health issues and financial implication of actions undertaken. It was decided to relook at the mentioned aspects and develop a comprehensive policy. We hope to be involved in this process and create linkages with our current work on advocating for integration of HIV and Maternal Health programs and policies.