September 07, 2010

PIGGS PEAK, SWAZILAND - The Kingdom of Swaziland's Ministry of Health announced the launch of the first Management Development Institute (MDI) for HIV/AIDS service providers. Key Ministry staff and partners who work to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) convened in Piggs Peak from August 30 to September 4 to expand their management and leadership skills through a program designed and delivered by world-class management faculty from UCLA Anderson School of Management and leading African training institutions.

Presented in conjunction with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), and the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business, the Ministry hosted this dynamic program aimed at developing the management and leadership capacity of those who lead the Kingdom's PMTCT work. The MDI program in Swaziland was made possible by a grant from Johnson & Johnson.

This comes at a critical time with revised World Health Organization guidelines around PMTCT and Swaziland's King Mswati III calling for the elimination of pediatric AIDS by 2015.

"We are very pleased to be the host of this exceptional MDI training, which gives our health care managers and technical leaders the unique opportunity to expand their leadership and management skills," said Phumzile Mabuza, Programme Manager of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit (SRHU). "With this expanded management expertise, our PMTCT leaders will be better equipped to help achieve our goal of eliminating pediatric HIV/AIDS in Swaziland."

For six days, the Swaziland PMTCT managers and technical leaders received intensive training on organizational planning, health information systems, operations management, leadership and human resources, financial management, social marketing, and program monitoring and evaluation.

"The MDI aims to provide participants with new competencies and skills in order to enable the Kingdom of Swaziland and its partners to provide better access to high quality PMTCT services," said Professor Victor Tabbush, MDI Program Director, UCLA Anderson. "We are thrilled to be a part of the elimination of MTCT in Swaziland and working closely with the Ministry and its partners on this exciting program." Considered by many as a ‘mini' Masters in Business Administration, the MDI provides more than 35 participants from regional and national levels-including matrons, supervisors, heads of health facilities, information technology managers, and community-based organizational leadership -- exposure to critical and cutting edge management and leadership principles.

Recognizing the importance of fostering long-term sustainability, the MDI training experience will continue for 9 to 12 months beyond the initial 1-week training with on-going support. Participants will form regional teams and work in the coming months to better address implementation of the new PMTCT guidelines through the skills acquired during the 6-day MDI course. At the end of the 9 to 12-month period, the MDI teams will come together again to present their progress towards achieving their projects and strategic objectives towards the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV and to reflect on lessons learned.

"Johnson & Johnson is privileged to support efforts to strengthen the Ministry of Health organizational capacity, leading to increased access and improved services for mothers, children and their families in Swaziland," said Rene Kiamba, Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa Family of Companies Contributions Fund, Johnson & Johnson. "We are delighted to work with these world-class partners to support the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Swaziland in these critical PMTCT & SRH areas."

The Swaziland MDI program benefits from lessons learned from similar regional MDI trainings conducted in Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa. This is the first time the MDI is focused on one country and is specific to the PMTCT and SRH areas. Over 400 participants from 21 African countries have already graduated from this prominent MDI program since its inception in 2006.

About African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF)
AMREF's mission is to improve health and health care in Africa. It aims to ensure that every African can enjoy the right to good health by helping to create vibrant networks of informed and empowered communities and health care providers working together in strong health systems. Its extensive experience in development of human resources for health targets a diverse range of health professionals, from primary health care workers to field surgeons. AMREF has a strong regional presence and close working relationships with communities, governments, key development agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector with a current funding base of over $80m annually.

About Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
EGPAF is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, working in 17 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. EGPAF has been a key partner in providing PMTCT services in collaboration with the Swazi Ministry of Health and Welfare since 2004.

About Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is the world's largest and most comprehensive manufacturer of health care products serving the consumer, pharmaceutical and professional markets. The company has its worldwide headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where the business was founded over a century ago. Johnson & Johnson's Corporate Contributions program is recognized for its impact on global health care. The company's giving program is inspired by its business philosophy, aptly articulated in the uniting document - Our Credo. It challenges the company to put the needs and well-being of the people it serves first. Johnson & Johnson partners with hundreds of community-based organizations, NGOs and governments across the world to implement programs that save and improve lives, prevent diseases and fight stigma, as well as build capacity of health providers who serve under-served communities.

About University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB)
Ranked as one of the top business schools in South Africa, the GSB has four decades of success in developing business leaders. GSB graduates consistently go on to achieve highly in all sectors of society and all over the world. Their success creates an enduring reputation for the school. GSB programmes are at the cutting edge of management education. The school continually pushes the boundaries and challenges students on every level to ensure that they grow both personally and professionally. The GSB is taking the lead in South Africa in developing a business school that is adapted to the circumstances of a country and continent where the imperatives are democratisation, international competitiveness and economic growth.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is recognized as one of America's premier business schools. Its preeminent position is based on internationally acclaimed research, an innovative and distinguished faculty, excellent degree programs, and exceptionally bright, highly motivated students chosen from one of the largest and finest application pools in the nation. The MDI is conducted under the auspices of the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, a recognized leader in entrepreneurial education and research. The Price Center oversees all teaching, research, extracurricular and community activities related to entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson, and maintains a strong commitment to serving the non-profit and small business communities through management development programs.

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