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UCSD's PEPFAR Assistance Program to the Uniformed Services of Ethiopia

​Director: J. Allen McCutchan, MD, MSc, Professor of Medicine
Country Director: Diana Mattanovich, MIS
Administrator: Edomyas Solomon, MBA

Major UCSD Faculty Collaborators: Richard Haubrich, MD, Chris Mathews, MD, and Sharon Reed, MD.

University of California, San Diego - Ethiopia (UCSD-E) is a foreign operation/program that provides technical assistance for HIV prevention, care, and treatment to the Uniformed Services of Ethiopia (USE), which includes the National Defense Forces of Ethiopia (NDFE), the Federal Police of Ethiopia (FPE), and the Federal Prison Administration (FPA).

UCSD has worked in Ethiopia since 2005, established an office in Addis Ababa in 2006, and is funded by the President's Emergency Fund For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) thru the Global AIDS Program (GAP) of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). UCSD-E implements its program through collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Defense, Defense Health Department, the Federal Police and Prison Health Institutions, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO). The 2008 budget of UCSD-E is over $8 M USD annually. UCSD-E currently supports 46 Uniformed Services sites, 34 of which are defense hospitals, 7 are Police Hospitals, and 5 prison health center sites. In order to support our rapidly expanding activities, we employ ~60 full-time Ethiopian technical, administrative and support staff. Of these ~25 are at our Addis office and ~34 are stationed in health facilities and commands of the Uniformed Services. 

UCSD's mission is to assist in establishing and strengthening sustainable programs for HIV prevention, treatment, and care for the Uniformed Services of Ethiopia by: 

  • Building human capacity for supporting HIV/AIDS care, prevention, treatment, and support,
  • Improving clinical and laboratory infrastructure,
  • Providing technical assistance for the accelerated access of ART by those who need it, in a safe and sustainable manner, and 
  • Creating and strengthening a civil-military alliance in the areas of HIV prevention, control, care, and treatment.
UCSD-E aims to achieve its goals through close collaboration with our CDC-affiliated USG and our USE partners by supporting and strengthening existing institutions, as well as helping to create sustainable health services systems. Other US university partners which support the civilian health sector in Ethiopian include ITECH (Univ. of Washington), Johns Hopkins Univ., and ICAP (Columbia Univ.). Major areas of UCSD-E support to the USE include Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), TB/HIV co-infection, Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT), HIV Counseling & Testing (HCT), and Palliative Care (PC). We also support and train personnel in relevant skills for clinical laboratory and hospital infection services. 

Core activities of UCSD-E include promoting HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment by: 
  • Assessing of HIV-related capacity at USE sites
  • Training health care providers at the pre-service, (in USE health sciences schools), pre-placement (after graduation from these schools), and in-service levels.
  • Providing technical assistance and ongoing clinical mentorship and supportive supervision to clinic-, hospital-, and laboratory-based activities
  • Renovating infrastructure for HIV-related diagnosis and care