Strengthening institutional capacity for treatment and care for HIV/AIDS patients

Project completed

Ruedi Luethy Foundation (RLF) uses a nurse-led and doctor-supervised approach to provide comprehensive care and treatment to HIV patients. Through its Newlands Clinic Training Centre (NCTC), human capital in Southern Africa for Opportunistic Infections/Anti-Retroviral Therapy (OI/ART) management is strengthened and mortality due to AIDS related illnesses is reduced. RLF is a pillar of best practice in HIV management and care and the single biggest contributor to Swiss visibility within the local context. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Sexually transmitted diseases incl. HIV/AIDS
Reproductive health & rights
Education facilities and training
01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023
CHF  7’080’671
Background Southern Africa remains the region most profoundly affected by the HIV epidemic, and Zimbabwe is still among the countries with the highest prevalence rate worldwide for the age group of 15 to 49 years (12.7% in 2018). Most countries in Southern Africa face serious challenges to address the crisis, including shortages of key health workers to deliver quality care and treatment to HIV patients. The poor and unstable economic environment leads to a brain drain of qualified healthcare personnel. This is coupled with inadequate resources by the governments to ensure public health institutions have the necessary resources to provide quality services to the poor, as well as unforeseen climate related events that undermine HIV prevention and treatment efforts. Whilst the quality of services is relatively good in the private sector, it is completely out of the reach to the wider population. Thus access to health and HIV/AIDS treatment and care services reflects the persistent inequalities in Southern Africa. NC closes this gap by offering HIV services and trainings to the benefit of the poorest segments of society.
Objectives To expand the provision of quality and comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and care and strengthen the human resource capacity to provide ART services in Southern Africa.
Target groups

-    Adult women, men, adolescents and children affected by HIV/AIDS; 

-    Doctors and nurses;

-    Public and private clinics and hospitals;

-    Health Sector.

Medium-term outcomes

1.    Increased capacity built for OI/ART service delivery and task sharing in Southern Africa through training, clinical attachment, mentorship and rolling out components of the Newlands Clinic model of best practice; 

2.    Increased survival and reduced mortality of 9,000 patients receiving quality comprehensive treatment and care at Newlands Clinic by 2023.


Expected results:  

-    9,000 HIV patients access comprehensive treatment and care at NC by 2023;

-    1,600 nurses and doctors trained on OI/ART management in Southern Africa (400 per year);

-    NC Model of best practice in nurse-led HIV care rolled out and operational in 25 public missions, hospitals and clinics;

-    Quality HIV services delivered to roughly 700’000 patients;

-    An additional 30,000 patients (60% being adult women) are initiated on ART through Population Services International and MSF clinics that have been trained by NC and have adopted the NC model of best practice;

-    The NC electronic point of care system operational in 25  public missions, hospitals and clinics;

-    Medical help desk and mentorship offered to at least 3,000 trained nurses and doctors.

Results from previous phases:  

-    6,500 registered patients (70% are women) at NC have benefitted from quality comprehensive care and support services. Mortality rates due to AIDS related illnesses for HIV patients registered at NC has remained relatively low, ranging between 1.55% (Phase I-2013) and 1.41% (Phase II-2018); Viral load suppression has remained very high ranging between 95 and 96% throughout phases I and II; 

-    An additional 18,000 patients (60% women) have been initiated on ART through Population Services International clinics that have been trained by NC and have adopted the NC model of best practice; 

-    4,900 Nurses and doctors (80% being women)  from Zimbabwe and 40 from other Southern African public and private health institutions have gained knowledge and improved their technical skills in providing ART and OI management through NCTC trainings;

-    Fifteen public and private health institutions have benefitted from technical support and mentorship and this has resulted in improved service delivery and positive attitudes towards HIV patients; 

-    The Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care adopted the NC electronic point of care system, which has led to availability of real-time and comprehensive HIV patients’ data. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Other partners
Ruedi Luethy Foundation
Coordination with other projects and actors Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), both of which are present in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi; Ministries responsible for Health in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi; University of Zimbabwe; Zimbabwe Association of Church Related Hospitals (ZACH); Clinton HIV/AIDS Access Initiative (CHAI). 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    7’080’671 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    6’980’671
Project phases

Phase 3 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019   (Completed) Phase 1 01.08.2013 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)