Global Health Projects: Guinea
Collaboration for Malaria Control, HIV Prevention, and Partnership for Health Governance and Service Delivery (2009-2013)
Rio Tinto Group/SIMFER S.A.
RTI and SIMFER S.A., in consultation with USAID Guinea, have committed to collaborate on development activities that address mutual interests in strengthening governance, health and development in Guinea. Consistent with the Faisons Ensemble project approach, the parties jointly endorse working with and through the central and local government, public health institutions and officials, and civil society and independent media champions for good governance. The following task orders have been implemented through the Faisons Ensemble project (see entry below):
- Collaboration for Malaria Control (2009-2010): SIMFER S.A. provided approximately 11,000 insecticide treated bed nets (bed nets) at a value of $100,000. RTI led activities centered on the mobilization of public and civic stakeholders, distribution of the nets in ten targeted communities, and the delivery of information on malaria prevention and the proper use of bed nets.
- HIV/AIDS Prevention in Rio Tinto Intervention Zones - Beyla (2010-2011): This initiative sought to (1) reduce HIV prevalence in the target area of Beyla with a special emphasis on high-risk groups, including sex workers, young people, lorry drivers and miners; and (2) reinforce and improve the quality of HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and treatment services offered in the Nionsomoridou health center and Moribadou health post.
- Partnership for Health Governance and Service Delivery (2011-2013) : this collaboration aims to (1) extend malaria efforts to the adjoining Macenta Prefecture in communities most impacted by Rio Tinto activities; (2) replicate HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities in selected Macenta Prefecture communities; (3) solidify HIV/AIDS activities in Beyla Prefecture; (4) start HIV/AIDS and malaria programming in Forécariah Prefecture, the site of a port to be built by Rio Tinto in Western Guinea; and (5) initiate civil society and local governance strengthening activities in all three targeted prefectures.
United States Agency for International Development
Governance that benefits few at the expense of the many obstructs the stability and development of the nation and its people. In Guinea, poor governance negatively influences all aspects of life. Guinea is ranked 168th among 179 countries in Transparency's 2007 Annual Corruption Perception Index, and corruption is seen as pervasive and deep seated. Poor governance means state assets are not used effectively for social service delivery, economic growth is impaired, and investment curtailed.
To work with policymakers and grassroots leaders to advance democracy by strengthening governance in the health, education, and agriculture and natural resource management sectors.
Activities and Results
The project is led by RTI and has six implementing partners (the African Center for Training and Development; Enterprise Works/VITA; Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health; Mano River Women's Peace Network; Population Services International; and World Education). Together we work in four regions, which contain more than half the country's population: Conakry, N'Zerekore, Dabola, and Kankan.
Among the project's major initiatives are:
- At the national level, the project is working with the relevant ministries to support reform of public finance by introducing systems that enable closer tracking of expenditures. Working with the National Assembly and with Guinean associations of journalists, the project will help reformers in the national government open the budget-making process to media scrutiny. RTI will assist in the creation of a system of fiscal transfers from national to local governments, making decentralization a meaningful initiative.
- RTI is also working with key ministries to reform the civil service, which includes purging the civil service of ghost workers, ensuring positions are filled based on merit, and verifying that all civil servants have proper contracts and job descriptions.
- To help Guinea ward off the scourge of AIDS, the project supports a network of voluntary counseling and testing centers to which people come to learn their HIV status. By utilizing a governance-based approach whereby community organizations join hands with the local health officials to support and oversee operations, the project ensures that the centers function sustainably.
- Working with the National Association of Midwives, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education, the project is developing a management model for the health school that trains Guinea's nurses, midwives, and medical laboratory technicians. The model includes a new teaching curriculum and internship program that meet international standards, as well as internal reforms to the school administration, including the institution of guidelines for hiring and retaining faculty and for admitting the most qualified candidates.
- In addition, the project supports Guinea's Central Pharmacy in developing an efficient and transparent procurement system. As the value of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV/AIDS has risen, managing the drug supply chain is even more vital to prevent stock outs and misuse of pharmaceutical commodities.
- At the community level, RTI is working with the Collectivités Rurales du Développement to maximize public participation in the local development planning process. The project will build the capacity of CSOs and NGOs to advocate for public health priorities and ensure that allocated resources match such priorities. The project is also helping to produce HIV/AIDS-focused radio and TV spots of leaders, including the prime minister, pledging to fight the epidemic. In 2007, a concert caravan against HIV/AIDS featuring popular Guinean musicians reached over 22,500 youth and adults with anti-AIDS messages.
- At the request of the prime minister, RTI supports training of the new cabinet (named on June 19, 2008), as well as other specific interventions to support two new ministries at the requests of the minister of Government Reform and the minister of Decentralization and Local Development.