Tremendous progress has been achieved in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria, as well as by neglected tropical diseases. Thanks to comprehensive prevention and treatment programs and the collaboration of global and regional alliances, TB and malaria are trending towards global elimination targets. In much of the world, HIV is becoming a chronic, manageable disease. Preventable death in women and children due to malaria and diarrheal disease has significantly declined. In spite of progress made, infectious diseases continue to exact a heavy burden on populations around the world.
Emerging and reemerging infectious disease threats including avian influenza, Zika, and COVID-19 are necessitating a renewed commitment to rapid, coordinated outbreak response efforts on both a national and global scale. And momentum gained in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria is at risk of being reversed due to COVID-19’s economic and social impact.
In addition to sustaining progress made in the era of COVID-19, some of the world’s most vulnerable populations remain out of the reach of essential health resources that prevent, test, treat, and manage infectious diseases. And avoidable morbidity and mortality still threaten human lives and livelihood. This necessitates an investment in continued efforts to strengthen country leadership, governance, and management of infectious disease programs.
URC has been a leader in the global fight against infectious diseases – including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria – for decades. Our work through country, regional, and global projects has supported ministries of health, private health providers, local and international organizations and communities to strengthen their infectious disease response to existing and emerging threats.
URC’s work strengthens health systems holistically across all components:
- Community-level prevention efforts, communication campaigns, advocacy, and engagement, ranging from insecticide-treated net distribution to community theater, immunization uptake campaigns, and the introduction of advocacy groups to empower young girls and women affected by HIV/AIDS;
- Sub-national level support to district health leaders and providers to improve the quality of service delivery through quality improvement collaboratives, knowledge management, shared learning, and health workforce development; and
- National-level efforts to strengthen a coordinated infectious disease response, including preparedness and planning efforts for outbreaks including Ebola and Zika, support to information systems and networks to improve surveillance, strengthening laboratory diagnostics, streamlining supply chains, and scaling up the use of innovative digital technologies.
Our USAID Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services in both East Central and North Acholi (RHITES-EC and RHITES-N, Acholi) projects lead HIV/AIDS service delivery across all PEPFAR program areas in these large regions in Uganda, while simultaneously providing COVID-19 treatment, prevention and vaccination support to those same communities. Through the Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, URC works to prevent, test, treat, and manage HIV/AIDS in the military populations of Eswatini, Niger, and Uganda.
URC’s flagship TB CARE II Project, the TB South Africa Project, and current Defeat TB Project and TB Platforms for Sustainable TB Detection, Care, and Treatment Project provide leadership to the global effort to eliminate TB.
And our malaria projects including the Defeat Malaria Activity in Myanmar and Cambodia Malaria Elimination Project have made a lasting impact on efforts to contain multi-drug resistant malaria and move the Greater Mekong Subregion closer to malaria elimination.
URC has championed global efforts to rapidly scale up responses to new and emerging infectious diseases. We are on the frontlines supporting country efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 by improving vaccine confidence and roll-out of vaccination campaigns. These efforts are essential to sustain the gains made to control infectious diseases for improved health worldwide.