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 (CDC) and implemented by Emory University School of Nursing in partnership with the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility at Emory University, the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation, and the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community. 


The African Health Professions Regional Collaborative (ARC) for Nurses and Midwives seeks to:


* Implement global standards for HIV care in the Africa region as defined by the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Framework

*Improve the health of individuals, families and communities through the promotion of safe and effective nursing and midwifery standards of practice

* Facilitate country-level collaborative projects which will result in measurable and sustainable change to support HIV service provision

* Apply a collaborative model to engage countries in sharing progress, results, and lessons learned

ARC convenes regional meetings with nursing leaders; provides targeted technical assistance; and, each year, competitively awards grants of up to $15,000 to country teams of nursing and midwifery leaders to work on innovative projects focused on an identified national priority that will enhance nurse and midwife capacity in the delivery of quality clinical HIV care to pregnant women and to children and that can be scaled and sustained nationally over time. The grants aim to improve services at sites with high HIV client volume.


ARC has five overarching objectives:


1. Support national nursing and midwifery leadership teams to identify key bottlenecks for delivery of quality PMTCT B+ services and pediatric HIV care at priority sites

2.Build capacity of nursing and midwifery leadership teams to design and implement innovative projects to improve the quality of nursing and midwifery practice in PMTCT B+ and pediatric HIV services, which have the capability to be sustained and scaled nationally

3. Demonstrate measurable impact on the quality of nurse and midwife-led PMTCT B+ services and pediatric HIV care in funded countries over the duration of the initiative.


4. Foster sustained collaboration between national nursing and midwifery organizations within each country to advance nurse and midwife-led (NML) models of care.

Promote regional dialogue between countries and exchange best practices and lessons learned to accelerate improvements in country projects.


Details of the ARC faculty

Information about the ARC partners

Participating Countries

Ensuring quality care

ARC awards approximately 10 grants each year to address key barriers to quality nursing practice at the facility level, including but not limited to the following types of quality improvement projects:

* Develop, pilot or roll out clinical protocols (e.g. PMTCT B+, test and start, post-partum follow up, early infant diagnosis, pediatric HIV, retention in care) to improve the quality of nurse- and midwife-led HIV care.
* Promote models of task sharing for nurse- and midwife-led PMTCT B+ and pediatric HIV care at the facility level.
* Improve patient data collection and utilization for PMTCT B+ and pediatric HIV to improve patient care.
* Establish innovative facility-based clinical mentoring to improve nurse confidence/competence in HIV care.

Successes to date

From 2011 to 2015, ARC supported country nursing teams to accomplish the following:

7 countries established Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs to enhance HIV expertise among nurses and midwives.
* 12 countries improved and advanced their CPD programs.
* 5 countries reviewed and revised the Scopes of Practice (SOPs) which regulate nursing functions.
* 3 countries updated their nursing laws and regulatory frameworks.
* 1 country decentralized its nursing council services, enabling nurses to develop HIV care strategies specific to the local context
* 2 countries developed entry to practice exams to enable nurses to qualify for HIV service tasks.
* 1 country established a specialty certification in nurse-led HIV care which is tied to salary increases

To read about 2016 grant projects and regional meetings, follow this link: http://www.africanregulatorycollaborative.com/ARC-Projects.html