African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP)
The African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP) is an initiative between the Government of Botswana (GOB), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Merck Company Foundation/Merck & Co., Inc. ACHAP supports the goals of the GOB to decrease HIV incidence by rapidly advancing HIV/AIDS prevention programs, healthcare access, patient management, and treatment of HIV/AIDS in a sustainable and comprehensive manner.
ACHAP’s operations in Botswana commenced in early 2001 with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Merck Company Foundation initially committing US$100-million (each US$50-million) over a 5-year period from 2001 to 2005. The ACHAP project life was later extended to December 2009, bringing the project total over the period 2001 – 2009 to US$106.5 million .
During this period, with support from ACHAP and other development partners, the Government of Botswana established one of Africa’s largest public sector HIV and AIDS treatment programmes. ACHAP support has included infrastructure development with the construction of 35 Infectious Disease Care Clinics (IDCC), training of about 7000 health workers and lay personnel and provision of equipment to support laboratory diagnostic and monitoring services. This support enabled the rapid expansion of clinical services, putting almost 113,948 people including 7,142 children on treatment with public sector resources by the end of April 2009, and a total of 126,797 patients on treatment in the public and private sectors. As of April 2009, about 80% of those in need of treatment are now receiving it. ACHAP also established partnerships with NGOs, CBOs, and PLHIV led initiatives which ensured that communities are empowered to own interventions and are motivated to take up services in place.
In August 2010, ACHAP launched its second phase of programme implementation marking an additional five years of support to Botswana’s HIV/AIDS response, through the combined commitment of a further US$60 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The MSD/Merck Company Foundation. The ACHAP Phase II programme implementation has clearly defined objectives, which are aligned to the Organisation’s capabilities and the country’s national priorities as outlined in the national strategic framework on HIV/AIDS.