Swaziland, where an estimated 26% of adults aged 15 to 49 and 38% of pregnant women live with HIV, has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, and the disease is the leading cause of death regardless of age. Modeling studies demonstrate that male circumcisions (MC) could prevent up to 5.7 million new HIV infections among men, women and children over the next 20 years.
At present, no country has implemented MC on a public health scale. Given the parameters of Swaziland’s population and geographic size, it may be well-positioned to be the first country to successfully achieve scale by ensuring that safe MC is provided to as many men in the highest risk group as quickly as possible.
To address an HIV/AIDS epidemic of this magnitude, Swaziland’s MC Task Force, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the U.S. President''s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), have finalized a National Strategic Plan for MC, which sets a goal of circumcising 80% of Swaziland’s HIV-negative, uncircumcised males aged 15 to 24 over the next five years—approximately 112,000 adolescent and adult males. Neonatal circumcision will also be introduced to maintain the protective benefit of MC in the future.
By working in close collaboration with Swaziland’s Ministry of Health and MC Task Force, MCHIP will help meet this goal through four objectives:
• Increase access to safe adolescent and adult MC services;
• Improve the cost effectiveness, quality and efficiency of MC services;
• Foster sustainability of MC services to ensure long-term increases in MC prevalence; and
• Support the Ministry of Health with supplemental, short-term human resources for MC service provision.
The Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) is the USAID Bureau for Global Health’s maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) program. MCHIP supports global programming in MNCH, immunization, family planning, malaria and HIV/AIDS, and strongly encourages opportunities for integration. Cross-cutting technical areas include water, sanitation, hygiene, urban health and health systems strengthening.
MCHIP brings together a partnership of organizations with demonstrated success in reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality rates and malnutrition. Each partner is taking the lead in developing programs around specific technical areas. Jhpiego is the Prime on MCHIP, leading a coalition of the following partners: JSI, Save the Children, PATH, JHU/IIP, Broad Branch, PSI and Macro International.
For more information about MCHIP, see full MCHIP description on this Web site or visit www.mchip.net.
For nearly 40 years, Jhpiego, (pronounced "ja-pie-go"), has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing simple, low-cost, hands-on solutions that strengthen the delivery of health care services, following the household-to-hospital continuum of care. We partner with community- to national-level organizations to build sustainable, local capacity through advocacy, policy and guidelines development, and quality and performance improvement approaches.
For more information about Jhpiego, visit www.jhpiego.org.