LVCT Health’s Senior Technical Advisor Policy and Partnerships and MOSAIC (Maximizing Options to Advance Informed Choice for HIV Prevention) Project Manager, Patriciah Jeckonia is the winner of this year’s Dr Joep Lange Award.
She was recognized for the best oral scientific presentation at the International Conference on HIV Treatment, Pathogenesis, and Prevention Research (INTEREST 2022), held in Kampala, Uganda.
Patriciah took participants through her work titled” Moving from Rhetoric to Reality: Lessons learnt from integrating Oral PrEP and Family Planning Services in Public Health Facilities in Nairobi, Kenya.
LVCT Health, in collaboration with FHI 360 and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Directorate of Health Services, implemented the Collaboration for HIV Prevention Options to Control the Epidemic (CHOICE) project.
The 18-month USAID funded project in partnership with PEPFAR sought to address technical gaps and support the national scale-up of antiretroviral-based HIV prevention products (collectively referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) through catalytic evidence generation, translation, and research utilization.
Acknowledging the award, Patriciah thanked the conference organizers, NASCOP, Nairobi Metropolitan services, health workers and LVCT Health staff for creating an enabling environment for the CHOICE project to succeed.
She noted that Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in Kenya were at high risk of HIV and unintended pregnancy hence the need to integrate these services for improved access, uptake and continuation.
She reiterated the need for continued engagement and knowledge sharing among Family Planning/Reproductive Health and HIV stakeholders for sustained uptake of PrEP-FP integration among the target population.
“Despite the unique challenges presented by COVID-19 that limited in-persons meetings and interaction with project beneficiaries, we were courageous enough to use multiple channels to foster coordination and conversations in rolling out integration of the PrEP-FP training and mentorship’’, said Patriciah.
Other challenges included high rates of staff turnover, a lack of cohesion and teamwork between providers in PrEP, family planning and HIV testing services, inconsistent documentation, inconsistent use of the rapid assessment tool, and providers expecting additional payments for integrated services.
INTEREST is an annual conference that brings together scientists around the world to showcase their cutting-edge knowledge in HIV treatment, pathogenesis, and prevention research.
Since its inception, the conference has provided a platform for physicians and scientists in Africa to demonstrate successes and lessons made in implementing local-led solutions in the prevention of HIV and treatment management for people living with HIV.
The Joep Lange Award is one exceptional award won by a scientist that presents the highest-scoring scientific abstract at the conference by an African scientist.
LVCT Health proudly congratulates Patriciah Jeckonia and the CHOICE team for winning the award.