GAIA Vaccine Foundation currently works closely with many community clinics in Bamako, Mali to offer a variety of programs.
Our Chez Rosalie program provides counseling, HIV testing, and treatment to all pregnant women visiting Hope Center Clinic in the neighborhood of Sikoro in Bamako, Mali to ensure that HIV is not transmitted from mothers to newborns. In 2018, 1,428 women received these services and 0 babies were born HIV+. Two years ago this program expanded to include a neighboring community clinic in Banconi where another 200 women per month received care last year.
teen peer education
The Chez Rosalie MTCTP Program revealed that most of the new HIV infections being reported were for teen mothers. This suggested that not only were teenagers at risk of pregnancy, but they were also at risk of acquiring HIV infection with their first pregnancy. The Teen Peer Education Program actively recruits the next generation of Malians, 14 to 18-year-old adolescents and young adults, in an engaging, co-ed, teen health education program that aims to address health issues faced by youth in Mali. In 2018, this program reached about 100 teens per month.
HPV and Cervical Cancer
GAIA VF has completed 3 separate research projects on HPV and cervical cancer in Bamako, Mali. Most recently, working with 5 community clinics and the district health center, GAIA VF helped provide cervical cancer screenings to 5,971 mothers while vaccinating 749 girls against HPV. Partnering with national health authorities, we were able to target our program towards reaching out-of-school girls who would be missed by the national vaccination campaign that focused on vaccinating in schools.
Free, anonymous hiv testing & community-level care
Anonymous HIV testing and care is crucial to reaching stigmatized groups who are most at risk to contract HIV. GAIA VF offers free, anonymous testing at two clinics in Bamako, and was crucial in the decentralization of HIV care throughout Mali. Hope Center Clinic in Sikoro remains a model for community-level HIV care. In 2018, testing was provided to 472 people and more than 100 people living with HIV received care.
nutrition & Support program
Improving access to nutritional foods is especially important for HIV+ pregnant women who require additional nutritional support during their pregnancies while taking HIV medication. The Nutritional Support program is managed by members of the Sikoro Hope Association, an organization formed by HIV+ women who participated in the early years of the Chez Rosalie program. The mission of the association is to reduce the social stigmatization that people living with HIV face in Mali and provide a critical support system for new patients. Last year, this program provided 3,925 meals to families in Sikoro.
In 2018, GAIA Vaccine Foundation and the ASACOMSI, who run the community clinic in Sikoro, applied to USAID for an ASHA grant to build Sikoro Keneyasso, an 8,000 square foot, two-story facility that will feature urgent walk-in care, laboratory, infectious disease of epidemic potential (IDE) detection and containment divisions, a conference room, and classrooms.