Owing to the completion of ACHAP Phase II, the donor funded institution will now transform into a continental body that will tackle health issues. ACHAP CEO Dr Jerome Mafeni revealed on Tuesday at ACHAP PHASE II dissemination workshop that although the institution managed to make a comeback after the completion of ACHAP PHASE I, it was now time it broaden up and venture into other markets outside Botswana. Mafeni however mentioned that Botswana will remain ACHAP headquarters. “We will be now thinking big, though the focus will still remain Botswana,’” he said.
According to Mafeni, this new ACHAP will run more like a business than a project. ACHAP Phase I ran between 2001 and 2009 funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and The Merck Company Foundation (TMCF) by US$50 million each. It supported the government of Botswana in establishing one of Africa’s most successful public sector HIV/AIDS treatment programmes through assistance with infrastructure development, training of health care workers, provision of equipment and drugs, and systems strengthening.
In 2010, ACHAP launched Phase II with funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation amounting to US$15 million and The Merck Company Foundation funding amounting to US$26 million covering 2010-2014. The funding was to support the prevention of new HIV infections, transition the ART programme to the Ministry of Health, and strengthen the Government of Botswana’s TB/HIV programme.
The organisation’s new vision is now to provide comprehensive, innovative and catalytic solutions through Public Private Community Partnerships (PPCP) to achieve sustainable population health, and their mission according to Mafeni is to be the leading innovator for promoting a healthy Africa.
Though HIV/AIDS will remain at the core of its portfolio of services, the new ACHAP will now tackle various health problems facing Africa, as per individual country. These include high HIV & TB burden including Malaria, high maternal & infant mortality, seasonal and emerging epidemics (Ebola), Non-Communicable Diseases like Cancers, mental illness, Hypertension, Kidney disease, diabetes and obesity, severe shortage of health workers, crumbling public health infrastructure and poor health systems.
While ACHAP will continue supporting the health sector in Botswana it will concurrently move into new markets. As its primary focus between the year 2015 and 2016 ACHAP will target Lesotho, Swaziland, and Zambia. Its secondary focus that is from 2017 onwards will then be Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and eventually the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Mafeni, ACHAP will utilize its proven model to deliver high impact health outcomes in Botswana and new markets. He said ACHAP will grow primarily through a franchise model by partnering with existing organizations to deliver ACHAP services. “ACHAP will continue to partner with governments, the private sector and civil society organizations,” he said.
Although their existing grant support ended in December 2014, Mafeni said focused resource mobilization is ongoing, with the Government of Botswana, Southern African governments, bi-lateral donors, Multi-lateral donors, Research focused funding institutions and national & International private sector as among the targeted partners.
Mafeni was optimistic that the upcoming endeavor will be a success, given ACHAP’s past successes, experience and partnerships, which he says will act as a solid foundation on which to build the future.