In 1996, Dr. Mark Kline was returning home to Houston, Texas, after a week in Romania. His tour of hospitals, clinics and orphanages in the snowbound, eastern European country had shocked him. Children with HIV/AIDS in Romania were dying at a time when new drugs - highly active antiretroviral treatment - were revolutionizing treatment of the disease in the Western world. Kline refused to believe that the same life-saving treatment his patients received in Houston couldn’t also be implemented in Romania and he vowed to find a way to make it work. On the flight home, Kline pondered how to address this discrepancy, scribbling lines and lines of ideas on a legal pad, giving birth to the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. With initial financial support from Houston’s Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and Abbott Fund, along with drugs donated by Abbott Fund and AmeriCares, the Romania clinic envisioned by Kline became a reality in 2001. Deaths among the children declined from 15 percent to 1 percent and provided the first proof of concept for providing large-scale effective HIV treatment to children in a limited resource setting. 

In 1999, when Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation announced its Secure the Future program to support HIV treatment in Africa, BIPAI was one of the first organizations tapped to work to fight HIV/AIDS in this hardest-hit region of the world. In Botswana, at the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic, former president Festus Mogae declared that his people were “faced with extinction.” At Kline’s urging, Botswana’s Ministry of Health donated a plot of land for what would be Africa’s first-ever standalone pediatric AIDS clinic, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation agreed to pay for construction, medical equipment and operations for five years. Additional funds come from the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program.
 
On June 20, 2003, the Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence opened and treated 1,200 children in its first year.  The model proved to be a success and garnered attention from other African governments battling the disease. With additional funding from President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, a network of centers of excellence arose throughout sub-Saharan Africa. 
 
In 2005, BIPAI launched the Pediatric AIDS Corps in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, helping to alleviate the pediatrician shortage in sub-Saharan Africa. The Corps sent physicians each year to Africa over a period of five years to help expand the care and treatment of HIV-infected children and families and train African health professionals to provide such care. The Pediatric AIDS Corps expanded its scope beyond HIV/AIDS to include other diseases and conditions impacting child and maternal health and survival globally such as tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, perinatal conditions, cancer, and sickle cell anemia and became the Texas Children’s Global Health Corps in 2011. 
 
Today, BIPAI treats more than 300,000 children in more than a dozen countries and remains the largest provider of pediatric HIV care and treatment in the world while continuing to expand its treatment of other conditions impacting the health and well-being of children and families worldwide.

2016


BIPAI program wins national award in Colombia

The SAIL program - a collaboration of Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI), Texas Children's Hospital and Chevron to improve health outcomes in a remote region of Colombia - won first place in the National Nutrition Awards sponsored by the Exito Foundation (the charitable arm of Colombia's largest retailer) in the category of Promoción Nutrición Materno Infantil - 1000 days (Advancing maternal-child nutrition in the first 1000 days). SAIL, an acronym for Salud y Autosuficiencia Indígenas en La Guajira), is a public-private partnership of Chevron, the central and departmental governments of Colombia, the state of La Guajira, and the Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation-Colombia, an affiliate non-government organization of BIPAI. The award was presented at a ceremony on September 7th and was presided over by many Colombian luminaries, including the First Lady of Colombia, María Clemencia Rodríguez de Santos.

Children’s Cancer Center launches in Botswana

The Botswana-Baylor Children’s Center of Excellence and the government of Botswana signed a memorandum of agreement to build the first children’s hematology and cancer center of excellence in Gaborone. The partnership responsible for the development and management of the children’s cancer center in Gaborone includes the Botswana Ministry of Health, the Baylor College of Medicine Pediatric AIDS Initiative and Texas Children’s Hospital.

USAID awards $68.8 million grant for HIV/AIDS support in southern Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a $69.8 million grant to Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation–Malawi (Baylor–Malawi), an affiliate of the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital, to support and expand HIV/AIDS programs in Southern Africa. The grant will fund a dynamic and innovative project called Technical Support to PEPFAR Programs in the Southern Africa Region, or TSP. TSP is a collaborative program that includes ICAP at Columbia University and Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundations in Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Angola to support programs of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).


2015


BIPAI Chief Operating Officer named Director of Texas Children’s Global Health

Michael B. Mizwa has been chief operating officer and senior vice president for the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital since 2004. As Texas Children's director of global health, Mizwa will lead the global health team and co-chair the Texas Children’s Global Health Steering Committee with Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye. He will also continue to maintain his leadership role with BIPAI to ensure integration and collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine global programs and services.

Launch of Swaziland Tuberculosis Centre

A new Baylor Pediatric Tuberculosis Center of Excellence expands on Tuberculosis services provided at the Baylor College of Medicine – Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Center of Excellence in Mbabane. The TB Center is uniquely designed for children with a child-friendly space and advanced laboratory and X-ray equipment that allows doctors to diagnose TB in one day rather than traditional approaches that can take up to six weeks.

Lesotho COE celebrates 10th anniversary on World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day 2015 had special meaning to the physicians, staff and patients of the Baylor College of Medicine-Texas Children’s Hospital-Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence (COE) in Lesotho as they celebrated the progress and promise on the day that marks 10 years since the clinic opened. Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso attended and gave the keynote address.  Also in attendance was the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Health, other government ministers, health development partners, the diplomatic community as well as members of the public.

New Hepatitis C program launched in Romania

On World Hepatitis Day, the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative (BIPAI), Baylor Black Sea Foundation and AbbVie Foundation joined forces to address the urgent need for increased hepatitis C awareness, prevention, treatment and care services in Romania – the European country with the highest prevalence of the disease.

Baylor-Malawi launches new program for adolescents

Baylor signed a three year contract with UKAID and DFID to implement a £400 000 project that aims to decrease HIV morbidity and mortality among adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) in eight priority districts in Malawi by improving their physical and mental health outcomes through increased access to quality comprehensive clinical, psychosocial and sexual and reproductive health services that will positively influence sexual health decisions, economic empowerment, self-care skills  and in the process help to improve maternal and child health by delaying a first pregnancy.


2014


Botswana-Baylor celebrates 10th anniversary & launches adolescent centre

The 10-year anniversary of the opening of the Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence (COE) was graced by dignitaries from Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and the Botswana Ministry of Health, all of whom reflected on the significant role this program has played in catalyzing expanded access to lifesaving treatment for African children suffering from HIV/AIDS. BIPAI also celebrated the official opening of the Baylor-Bristol-Myers Squibb Phatsimong (“place to shine”) Adolescent Centre in Botswana in order to meet the needs of its growing adolescent population.

Chevron grant strengthens patient care throughout Romania

Chevron Romania made a multi-year commitment to AmeriCares and BIPAI's Romanian NGO affiliate, the Baylor College of Medicine Black Sea Foundation, to increase the availability of medications and medical supplies at selected public and private hospitals in Romania.

Chevron and Baylor team up in Colombia

Chevron, Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine teamed up to improve health outcomes in La Guajira, Colombia, one of the country’s most impoverished states with a large indigenous community and high child and maternal mortality rates.  Called SAIL (Salud y Autosuficiencia Indígenas en La Guajira), the program aims to decrease high child and maternal morbidity and mortality rates. Texas Children’s Hospital Global Health Corps physicians will be stationed in La Guajira to lead the program, working closely with local healthcare professionals in public clinics and hospitals to address pediatric and family health needs through health professional training and direct patient care.

Collaborative African Genomics Network (CAfGEN) launched in Botswana and Uganda

A $3.6 million three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health enables Baylor researchers to study the genetic factors that affect the progression of tuberculosis and HIV in one of the largest populations infected with the diseases yet to be studied- children in sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative includes collaborators from two BIPAI sites - the Botswana-Baylor Children's Centre of Excellence and the Baylor-Uganda Children's Clinical Center of Excellence, along with Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Botswana and Baylor College of Medicine.


2013


Baylor-Lesotho establishes two new satellite clinics

BIPAI expands its clinical and educational efforts to reach the most remote villages of Lesotho with the opening of two new satellite clinical centers in the country: the Baylor College of Medicine-Bristol-Myers Squibb Satellite Children’s Centre of Excellence in Botha Bothe and the Baylor College of Medicine-Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence in Mokhotlong.

Dr. Mark Kline receives humanitarian award

Dr. Mark Kline, chair of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, and BIPAI president received the Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows program’s first annual Humanitarian Award Saturday. Kline was honored for his efforts to address pediatrics HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and global health.

Liberian President Sirleaf meets with Global Health Corps physicians

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf met with two Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital  Global AIDS Corps physicians, Dr. Yvonne Butler and Dr. Josephine Reece, who will work for approximately one year under a Chevron and Baylor/Texas Children's partnership with John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Liberia.  Butler and Reece will provide health care to thousands of mothers and children while training of hundreds of health care professionals, complementing the Chevron-Liberia Economic Development Initiative, which implements projects related to health, education and economic development.


2012


BIPAI announces partnership with Chevron

Chevron Corporation and Texas Children's Hospital announced a $6 million, five-year agreement to expand the hospital's Global Health Corps program that provides life-saving pediatric health care, treatment and training to the most medically underserved populations in Africa. Chevron's contribution will support the recruitment and training of about 10 additional U.S. physicians on an annual basis to expand the program's focus into Angola and Liberia.

Baylor-Botswana Executive Director wins award

Baylor-Botswana executive director professor Gabriel Anabwani, MBChB, MMed, MSc, was presented with the IAS/Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS Prize for excellence in research related to the deeds of children affected by AIDS at AIDS 2012 in Washington, DC.  The prize is awarded to an investigator whose research is likely to lead to improved services for children affected by HIV and AIDS. 


2011


BIPAI opens new clinic in Mbeya, Tanzania

The doors to a specialized pediatric HIV/AIDS outpatient clinic in Tanzania opened in Mbeya, the region with the second highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country. The Mbeya pediatric center was established through a public-private partnership between the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children's Hospital, the Abbott Fund, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Tanzania.

BIPAI opens new clinic in Mwanza, Tanzania

The Baylor College of Medicine-Texas Children's Hospital-Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence opened on the grounds of the Bugando Medical Centre, the region's 900-bed, tertiary referral hospital. The center was established through a public-private partnership between the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative at Texas Children's Hospital, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development and the Government of Tanzania.

BIPAI opens two new satellite centers in Swaziland

BIPAI opens two additional satellite children's clinical centers of excellence in Swaziland to expand the provision of family-centered HIV/AIDS care, treatment and prevention to the rural populations of the Kingdom. The centers, constructed with support from a grant from the Abbott Fund, are located at the Church of the Nazarene Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini and the Hlatikulu Government Hospital in Hlatikulu.

BIPAI Teen Club program named best practice

The BIPAI teen club programs in Africa have been cited as a best practice for providing the extra social support HIV-infected adolescents need in “Children and AIDS: Fifth Stocktaking Report 2010,” a report released by UNICEF.

First Lady Michelle Obama visits Baylor-Botswana

First Lady Michelle Obama made a stop at the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence in Gaborone as part of a week-long trip to Africa to promote youth leadership, education, health and wellness, with special emphasis on AIDS prevention. Obama visited the Botswana-Baylor Adolescent Centre, which was established to teach leadership among teens and encourage young people to teach others HIV/AIDS education. Accompanied by daughters Malia and Sasha; her mother, Marian Robinson; and a niece and nephew, she painted a panoramic mural at the center with scenes of children playing, homes, blue sky and African wildlife.