Bringing together healthcare workers to identify challenges in HIV service provision in health facilities
27 February 2020
Since March 2019, Solthis and Action Against Hunger in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) are implementing a project to strengthen health systems and ensure active involvement of communities, especially women, adolescent and youth. (PROSSAN).
Based on a participatory approach, the project brought together health care workers at each of the 22 supported health facilities (13 in Western Area Urban District and 9 in Western Area Rural District) to discuss their routine activities in HIV related service provision and patient pathway. The goal of the participatory assessment meetings is first to identify challenges and gaps in provision of HIV care at different facility departments, namely targeting pregnant women, children under 5 years old, adolescents and youth. And secondly to propose a way forward to improve the quality of HIV care service provision and integration of HIV services into other services delivered within the health facility.
The main challenges identified include frequent stocks out of essential medicines, HIV test kits and HIV medicines, lack of basic medical equipment and poor quality of service delivery (inappropriate patient flow, patient follow up, and linkage to care). Moreover, health care workers also expressed concerns about a significant knowledge gap in HIV diagnosis, care and management as well as management of other HIV related diseases (Tuberculosis, and Other Opportunistic infections). Some of the supported health facilities also lack an appropriate working space for HIV service provision with audio and visual privacy for their clients.
Following the participatory assessment meetings, action plans were jointly developed for each health facility to address the identified challenges and gaps through capacity building of the health facility staff and system strengthening through collaboration and advocacy with the MoHS. Solthis has committed to continuous collaboration and support to the 22 health facilities as well as the MoHS to improve the quality of care and integration of HIV services.