Pediatric HIV Treatment Optimization

Sub Title
Access for the youngest children in Zambia
Related Global Health Areas
March 1, 2022
Lead Paragraph/Summary

Patrick was born HIV-positive in 2017 and lives in the Matero neighborhood of Lusaka with his mother and grandparents. He has received antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication at Matero General Hospital since 2019. In November 2021, Patrick was transitioned to the dispersible pediatric dolutegravir 10mg (pDTG).

"Patrick was always sickly, and this had become costly as we had to take him to the hospital all the time. From the time that he started taking pDTG, there has been a great improvement. He looks very healthy, and no visits have been made to the clinic due to ill health," his mother, Miriam, said. 

Reaching those who need it most

Access to treatments specifically designed for children is a top priority for Zambia's Ministry of Health, which has seen the countrywide rollout of the pediatric HIV treatment pDTG. The pDTG was first introduced in Zambia in August 2021. Zambia has over 56,000 children living with HIV (CLHIV). According to program data from Zambia's Ministry of Health (MOH), 45,513 children (0 – 14 years) was the total number of children on ART by the end of 2021. As of January 2022, about 2,456 children have been enrolled on pDTG.

To date, with the assistance of GHSC-PSM, 49,432 90-count bottles of 10mg dispersible DTG were delivered to Zambia. To improve health and save lives, children living with HIV must have timely diagnosis, as well as effective, child-friendly antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and care that ensures continuous viral suppression.

GHSC-PSM continues to assist the MOH in scaling up early testing of HIV-exposed infants and ensuring rapid return of test results by integrating new point-of-care testing technologies into national laboratory networks, which are critical steps toward meeting the HIV/AIDS 95-95-95 targets. Aside from procurement, the project has been at the forefront of supply chain technical support for MOH and partners in Zambia, including the development of distribution lists for the first cohort of facilities, participation in central level roll out orientations, participation in the development of the roll out orientation package, and ongoing technical support in commodity and logistics data management.

A total of 49,432 90 bottles of 10mg, dispersible DTG have been received in Zambia with support from GHSC-PSM.