Providing technical and capacity strengthening support to community-led organizations in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica and Ecuador
Bridging the Gaps is an international HIV initiative focused on the health and rights of LGBT people, sex workers, and people who use drugs. Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and led by Aids Fonds, the program was developed and is implemented in 16 countries by an alliance of 5 Dutch-based organizations, 4 global key population networks, and more than 100 local partner organizations. A central website describing the overall program is available at www.hivgaps.org This page helps showcase MSMGF technical support programs across a subset of focus countries.
Major highlights of our technical support initiative under Bridging the Gaps in 2014
As an alliance member, MSMGF focuses on global-level advocacy and country-level technical assistance. Targeting community-led organizations, MSMGF delivers direct technical assistance and conducts capacity building activities across a broad range of local partner needs including: strategic work planning; budget planning and development; grant reporting; information exchange and information services; linkage and referral at various levels (international NGOs, national/local NGOs, government, UN/multilateral); funding mechanisms (local, regional and international) and organizational development. Since 2011, MSMGF has reached nearly 50,000 MSM and transgender people with health information and HIV-related services. In addition, we have trained over 2000 healthcare professionals to improve the quality of HIV-related services targeting MSM.
MSMGF’s Training Curriculum for Healthcare Providers
At the 2014 International AIDS Conference, MSMGF launched a new 9-chapter curriculum for training healthcare providers worldwide on issues of relevance to MSM sexual health in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. This comprehensive curriculum was initially pilot-tested among 30 physicians and nurses in Zimbabwe and has since been translated to French and Spanish with subsequent trainings conducted in Senegal and Costa Rica respectively.
The curriculum is currently offline but can requested for review by emailing MSMGF’s Senior Training and Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. We additionally welcome requests for MSMGF technical assistance towards joint implementation and evaluation of training programs targeted at healthcare providers using adaptations of this curriculum in English, French or Spanish in any world region. An introductory note about the curriculum can be downloaded here.
MSMGF’s partners Ishtar, LVCT and PEMA joined forces in creating rapport with local healthcare providers and training them in the health needs of the LGBT community in-conjunction with technical assistance from the County Health department. We were able to provide technical and financial support to mentor previously trained providers in 11 of the 13 facilities we identified in 2013.
In 2014, nearly 2000 LGBT people were reached through mHealth/SMS-based HIV prevention, treatment and care strategies. This was mainly made possible by GALZ’s geographical coverage and database across over Zimbabwe. Despite ongoing human rights abuses and violations, active and vibrant support groups in Bulawayo and Harare continue to thrive.
The most significant achievement of the MSMGF’s partner, CIPAC in 2014 has been their unwavering focus on HIV prevention efforts among MSM and transgender people, including communities in Panama. In 2014, CIPAC distributed 3,820 educational materials, 13,244 condoms and 13,244 lubricants, and engaged 622 individuals through their online interactive website. CIPAC engaged face-to-face using a range of health education strategies with 2,145 MSM and transgender people in Costa Rica and 2,099 MSM and transgender people in Panama.
MSMGF understands the interplay between strong human rights and access to quality services and care. In Ecuador, we supported our local partners, Equidad and Kimirina, to continue their steady advocacy efforts in 2014. These efforts included actions to promote rights with elected public officials and maintaining visibility and a strong presence in print media, as well as generating content for both local and national radio. The MSMGF also supported innovative programming during Pride Month in Ecuador, including art exhibitions, film screenings and performances to raise the visibility of queer people and promote the human rights and health of LGBTI people.