The African Health Professions Regional Collaborative for Nurses and Midwives (ARC) works across 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to facilitate nurse and midwife led HIV care for pregnant women and children; improve the quality of nursing practice; and enhance national nursing policy and regulation. ARC is funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and implemented by Emory University School of Nursing in partnership with the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation and the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community.
ARC convenes regional meetings with nursing leaders; awards grants to improve services at sites with a high HIV volume; and provides targeted technical assistance. Each year ARC awards grants to country teams of nursing and midwifery leaders to work on an identified national priority that will enhance nurse and midwife roles in the delivery of quality clinical HIV care. ARC aims to stimulate innovative projects that can be scaled and sustained nationally over time.
ARC meets in Abidjan
The ARC West and Central Africa Summative Congress was held in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire 25-26 July 2016. Nursing and midwifery leaders from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cote D'Ivoire presented the outcomes of their year long projects to improve HIV care and treatment particularly for pregnant women and children.
ARC East, Central and Southern
Year 4 Summative
The final Summative of the first four-year phase of ARC was held in Johannesburg South Africa 16-18 February 2016. The nursing and midwifery leadership from seventeen countries in the east, central and southern Africa region attended the Summative. ARC Phase 2 was launched at the Summative.
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LARC meets in Dar es Salaam
The first learning session of the LARC initiative was held in Dar es Salaam Tanzania 2-4 August 2016. Laboratory and nursing and midwifery personnel from the six LARC countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda met together to share progress in their projects to improve HIV prevention, care and treatment by accurate identification and referral for viral load testing; efficient specimen collection and processing; timely and accurate testing; and result reporting and interpretation by clinicians that leads to appropriate patient management.
LARC is an extension of the African Regional Collaborative for Nurses and Midwives. The new initiative, titled LARC, is aimed at improving communication between laboratory technologists and technicians and nurses and midwives.
Inaugural LARC Meeting
The inaugural LARC meeting was held in Johannesburg 18-19 February 2016
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The UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals aim by 2020: 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained ART; and 90% of all people receiving ART will have viral suppression. Integral to these goals is identification and referral for viral load testing; efficient specimen collection and processing; timely and accurate testing; and result reporting and interpretation by clinicians that leads to appropriate patient management.
Improving communication between laboratory personnel and clinicians along the continuum is essential to achieving the 90-90-90 goals. The LARC initiative will provide time limited grants to six countries (Kenya,
Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Uganda) to work on projects to improve communication and understanding between these two critical groups of health professionals.