Supporting Triple Elimination in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste (STEPT) Project
Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B
Dates: 2020 – present
STEPT is a collaborative partnership between ASHM’s Global Program and the Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) in Papua New Guinea and Maluk Timor in Timor-Leste and national Ministries of Health. The program aims to achieve ‘Triple Elimination’ by developing health worker capacity to test, treat and vaccinate at birth while strengthening services within selected facilities.
- Deliver training and knowledge exchange forums between countries
- Providing training in triple elimination for health workers
- clinical mentoring at selected health facilities
- Strengthen existing monitoring and surveillance systems to promote quality reporting
STEPT is part of a global effort to achieve triple elimination and improve the lives of women, children and families.
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B is largely preventable through testing, treatment and vaccination at birth.
The HIV Response up to and beyond 2030 in the Western Pacific
Country: The WHO Western Pacific Region
ASHM supported the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Office to conduct an assessment to explore how to reach the unreached with HIV testing as an entry point to HIV prevention, care and treatment.
Pacific Multi-Country Mapping and Behavioural Study: HIV and STI Risk Vulnerability among Key Populations
Country: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
Through surveys and in-depth interviews ASHM in partnership with UNSW assessed and examined the behavioural risk factors and social and structural determinants of HIV risk that drive the epidemic in the Pacific among vulnerable groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, female sex workers and seafarers.
Acknowledgement of partners and donors : Funded by UNDP Pacific under the Global Fund to Fight TB, Malaria and HIV.
Lead organisation: University of New South Wales, Australia (UNSW)
Links: Pacific Multicountry Mapping and Behavioural Study
Pacific Viral Hepatitis Project
Country: Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Kiribati
ASHM, engaged by the World Health Organisation, carried out scoping of HBV and HCV services in Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Kiribati and provided recommendations for strengthening of services. ASHM supported the inclusion of viral hepatitis B treatment on essential medicine lists in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The project included the development of HBV and HCV Testing and Treatment National Guidelines for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and updating of Fiji National Hepatitis B Guidelines.
Acknowledgement of partners and donors : The World Health Organisation Western Pacific Office. WHO Collaborating Centre or Viral Hepatitis, VIDRL, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
Landscape Review on STIs in the Western Pacific Region
Country: Cambodia, Fiji, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and Philippines
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a leading cause of concern in the Western Pacific region with an estimated 86 million people aged 15 – 49 years infected with STIs, and tens of millions of people being newly infected every year. STI prevention and control requires multi-sectoral collaboration and leadership with a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals’ STI elimination agenda by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic has decelerated progress in STI prevention and control alongside broader health system challenges, further exacerbating this public health issue.
ASHM International has recently conducted a comprehensive landscape review on STIs in the Western Pacific Region with deep dives in Cambodia, Fiji, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and Philippines. This review was conducted by ASHM International in collaboration with the WHO (WHO | World Health Organization) and WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) WHO Western Pacific | World Health Organization for the purpose of gaining a greater understanding of the magnitude and nature of STIs across the Western Pacific Region. The review focused on syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis.
Top 4 key findings that are universal across the region are:
1. Limited up-to-date STI surveillance data across the region
2. major constraints in STI control at all levels
3. Inadequate investment in STI prevention, diagnosis and management
4. shortage of skilled health workers in STI testing, diagnosis and treatment
The findings in this review highlight the need to address the ongoing issue of STIs in the region and create a basis to expand stakeholder and expert consultation to support and develop targeted solutions for STI prevention and elimination.
Links: Global health sector strategies
Pacific Sexual Health Workforce Capacity Building Project
Dates: 2017 -2018
Country: Pacific Island Countries
The Regional Capacity Building Initiative for HIV is a joint initiative between ASHM International and Oceania Society for Sexual Health and HIV Medicine (OSSHHM) to provide mentoring, training and resources to health professionals working in HIV, TB and STIs in eleven Global Fund-supported Pacific countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The countries included in the project have low prevalence generalised HIV epidemics and sexually-transmissible infections (STIs) are common. Rates of HIV testing are low and many countries have laws criminalising key populations (men who have sex with men [MSM], transgender people and sex workers) and there are few protections against discrimination.
The delivery of medical services varies between countries, and is often inaccessible to members of key populations. Health care workers report being fatigued from overwork and from the need to respond to international development agency visits.
The project was developed to support health care workers in the eleven countries through gaining a deeper understanding of each country’s response to HIV, TB and sexual health, and establishing a pool of ‘Pacific Mentors’ based in Fiji to deliver training and direct mentorship to health professionals in Pacific countries.
- Establishment of a pool of Pacific Mentors
- Country assessments and in-country mentoring
- Updated training packages and HIV, STI and SRH resources
Acknowledgement of partners and donors : The Global Fund grant, managed by UNDP and jointly implemented by ASHM International and OSSHHM
Links : Pacific Sexual health workforce capacity building, Transgender health training
Sexual Health, Blood Borne Virus and Covid 19 Regional Advisory Group
Dates: 2020 – present
The Regional Advisory Group was established to support health workers working in sexual health and blood borne viruses during the Covid-19 pandemic. The group comprised of 70 technical experts from 10 countries across the Asia Pacific region. The group develops guidance documents and shares cross country learnings through regional webinars which reaches an audience of approximately 4,000 health workers and sector stakeholders in 15 countries across the region.
Document Link: BBV, Sexual Health and Regional Advisory Group Evaluation Report