On December 1, 2023, World AIDS Day, Integrate Health launched patient care in the Kouroussa district in Guinea. This day, globally dedicated to raising awareness about AIDS, is a tribute to our history and our roots. Nearly two decades ago, Integrate Health was founded in partnership with individuals living with HIV in northern Togo. It was founded on the idea that no one should die from a disease we know how to treat. Today, the extension of the Integrated Primary Care Program (IPCP) means that we will provide free quality primary healthcare to 112,000 people in Guinea, in addition to 200,000 Togolese women and children already receiving care. This significant stride underscores our commitment to build a more equitable future where everyone, everywhere has access to essential health services.
A Community-Centric Approach
The launch event was a vibrant celebration of community and collaboration. Representatives from local and national government, civil society, community leaders, and health workers gathered to witness this moment. Their presence highlights the IPCP’s community-centric and integrated approach, uniting people and communities across diverse backgrounds in the fight against health inequities.
Just like in Togo, the IPCP in Guinea focuses on providing integrated primary healthcare services, free of charge. It targets those who need it the most, including children under five, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and those in need of family planning services. It directly responds to the challenges faced by communities in the Kouroussa district, where access to these essential health services has long been a barrier.
Celebrating the Launch
The joyful day was marked by a series of events that reflected the appreciation and hope of the community. A carnival parade, enriched with local cultural elements, brought life and color to the streets of Kouroussa. Speeches from various dignitaries and health leaders highlighted the importance of the program and Integrate Health’s commitment to improving healthcare quality and accessibility in Guinea.
“The official launch of patient care in Kouroussa left me deeply impressed and satisfied. Witnessing the community’s robust mobilization around the five pilot health centers (Babila, Kanseriah, Kiniero, Douako, Banfèle) highlighted the program’s vital importance. The community’s positive embrace of Integrate Health fills me with gratitude and satisfaction. This milestone reflects a hopeful step towards a healthier future. My heartfelt thanks go to the community for their warm welcome, underscoring the significance of our collective efforts towards overall well-being.”Dr. Lune De Vie Ananie, Integrate Health’s Technical Manager, Guinea
The community’s involvement and enthusiasm were palpable, indicating a strong sense of ownership and optimism towards the program’s success. This spirit of collaboration and celebration set the tone for the program’s implementation, promising a future where healthcare is accessible to all.
One Week Later: Tangible Results and Transformation
In just a week since the launch of patient care, the momentum and impact of our efforts are already visible. Five health centers supported by Integrate Health have witnessed a significant increase in patient visits, providing essential care to 500 children and offering consultations to 250 pregnant women.
Our dedicated Community Health Workers are actively engaging with families in rural areas, assessing children’s vaccination and nutritional statuses. So far, our Community Health Workers have identified 71 “zero-dose” children–those who have not received any childhood vaccinations–and efforts to vaccinate them are in full swing, with 14 already receiving lifesaving vaccines in the program’s first week. This swift response and tangible impact underscore our commitment to not just launching programs but ensuring that they make a real difference in people’s lives.
Partnering for Success
And this is just the beginning. Our partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Ministry of Health is set to take this vision further, ensuring the IPCP’s sustainability and continued expansion. This is a starting point for a model that can be replicated across Guinea and beyond. The future we envision is one where quality healthcare is not just a dream but a reality for everyone, no matter where they are.
In Kouroussa, on World AIDS Day, we took a significant step towards that future. Join us in this journey to bring Universal Health Coverage to francophone West Africa.