Sunday, July 18, 2010

AIDS Conference 2010: A cross road of humanity

(L to R) Dr. Yigeremu Abebe, Country Director of Ethiopia for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI); Patrick Byam, Project Manager for the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute; Abraham Zerihun, EMRI Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for CHAI.

Hello from Austria!

I am here in Vienna for the XVIII International AIDS conference taking place from July 18-30th. What a beautiful city to play host to the conference…there is just so much history and culture within this city. The architecture is has been restored incredibly well, there is a great mix of medieval and modern design. It has been interesting to learn some German and to try wiener schnitzel while meeting people from all over the world here for the AIDS 2010 conference.

I feel like this conference is a cross roads of humanity. You can meet anyone from Bill Clinton to
Bill Gates to HIV/AIDS activists to human rights activists to world renowned scientists all within the same week. I am here to present a poster on the Ethiopian Millennium Rural Initiative (EMRI) project of which Yale Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI) is an external evaluator. The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is currently implementing a health system strengthening initiative at 30 government health centers in the four major regions of Ethiopia: Amhara region, Oromia region, Tigray region and the Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s region (SNNPR). The aim of the EMRI project is to develop a model of primary health care that can be scaled up and replicated throughout the country. GHLI is responsible for evaluating the impact of this project and studying the impact of this program. I am here with my Ethiopian colleague, Abraham Zerihun, head of Monitoring and Evaluation for the EMRI initiative, presenting a poster on the first phase of the EMRI program. This is a lot more exciting than our usual work developing monitoring and evaluation tools, writing quarterly reports and conducting site visits to ensure data quality. Our poster presents both quantitative and qualitative data from the first 1.5 years of the EMRI initiative.  

Patrick Byam, GHLI Project Manager