The president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, has recently announced the formation of a landmark global health consortium to eliminate the mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) of HIV in Ghana.
The consortium is a unique collaboration between the government of Ghana, Yale University, IBM and the ONE Campaign.
Ghana is currently one of 22 countries in the world with the highest burden of HIV among pregnant women.
The consortium will be creating a public health initiative to reduce these numbers, with the initial objective of reducing eMTCT to less than 5 percent by 2018. This would meet the World Health Organization (WHO) criterion for elimination. Mahama hopes to take this goal further and reduce the rate of eMTCT to less than 1 percent by 2020.
To reach their goal, the consortium hopes to establish a robust information technology infrastructure, raise public awareness and ensure the efficient use of healthcare resources. The initiative is drawing experience and technical capacity from a number of leading experts in the field.
Researchers and consultants from IBM will be providing the bulk of the technological capacity, using ‘System z mainframes’ to support the initiative. These mainframes are able to harness cloud, mobile, and big data technology and disseminate information to a number of different locations including clinics, offices, and remote sites.
Their pro-bono team, the Corporate Service Corps, will be designing a blueprint to effectively implement and manage an eMTCT public health initiative at the local and national levels.
They will also be partnering with Yale University faculty members, who, for the past seven years, have engaged in the Ghana Yale Partnership for Global Health. Together, they hope to engage in collaborative research and training to educate and support local healthcare providers.
A number of Ghanaian organizations, including Ghana Health Services, the Ghana AIDS Commission Christian Health Association of Ghana, the National House of Chiefs, and the Rotary Club of Ghana will be actively participating in the consortium as well.
The country of Ghana has a strong team working with them to help and eliminate the spread of HIV from mother to child.
– Mollie O’Brien