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ICEHA's mission is to create access to healthcare in resource-limited settings by building local healthcare systems in fast, sustainable, and cost-effective way with maximum impact.
What is ICEHA?
The International Center for Equal Healthcare Access (ICEHA) is a not-for-profit organization that engages western trained healthcare professionals to transfer their expertise on AIDS care and infectious diseases to colleagues in developing countries. ICEHA volunteer clinical mentors donate 6 to 12 weeks of their time to teach their local colleagues on how to provide the best AIDS care possible given the existing resource limitations.
While prices of antiretroviral drugs (ARV) have been lowered to the current level of $140 per patient, per year, the implementation of successful treatment and prevention programs has been severely hampered by the lack of trained healthcare professionals capable of carrying the patient load. To provide a very fast and effective solution, ICEHA's volunteers use a method of clinical mentoring which results in the rapid scale up of the skills of local caregivers in developing countries.
The typical scenario in terms of IMPACT is as follows: when ICEHA volunteer clinical mentors arrive in a clinic 0 patients are in AIDS care, after 6 weeks, 200 patients are in care, 600 by month 3, and 1200 by month six; with the patient flow continuing to grow daily beyond that. Once the system is set up within a clinic (4 consecutive volunteers are necessary), a clinic becomes "mentored out", meaning that the local caregivers run and expand their services beyond the stay of the clinical mentors while providing supervision to their local colleagues in surrounding clinics.
While the scale-up and speed with which patients can receive AIDS care in a developing country, using this method, is extraordinary, equally extraordinary is the effect of their assignment on our volunteers: All of the volunteers who have participated have indicated that this assignment for ICEHA was the most extraordinary experience of their entire professional life; no volunteer has had to leave his assignment prematurely for professional reasons or reasons of not being able to cope, despite the desolate settings in which they are deployed, and 98% of the volunteers to date have signed up to participate again with the first repeat volunteers stationed abroad in March 2006. www.iceha.org
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