Zambia has a population of approximately 17 million people with a health system of about 2700 health facilities. The HIV prevalence rate is about 11.6%. In responding to the care and treatment needs for PLHIV, with the support of PEPFAR, Zambia has scaled up treatment services to about 1,000,000 individuals representing about 80% of HIV infected individuals in need of treatment since 2004. In ensuring that the health system continues to be capable and resilient in providing quality care and treatment services to people in need, among other interventions CDC Zambia through PEPFAR has invested in the development of SmartCare, an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, to support patient management and improve clinical decisions.
On Friday, the 1st of December 2017, the world commemorated World AIDS day, with the objective of increasing awareness about HIV/AIDS, eliminating new HIV infections and “End AIDS by 2022”, as well as a call to action, commitment and unity to the elimination of new HIV infections and ending AIDS deaths. This year, Swaziland’s national commemoration event took place at the Sigwe Inkundla in Shiselweni. The keynote address was delivered by Acting Prime Minister, Senator Paul Dlamini who stated that an enormous amount of progress has been made across the world, further noting the partnerships which have been made between governments, communities, nongovernmental organisations and generous development partners such as USAID, PEPFAR and the Global Fund. He emphasized that “Ending AIDS in Swaziland by 2022 is an objective we must turn into a reality. HIV prevention is an essential component of ending AIDS in our families, communities and across the country”.
The Ministry of Health hosted the 4th National Health Research Conference on November 8-10, 2017. This was a forum where experts in the field of health and related disciplines within and outside the borders of Swaziland came together to share scientific knowledge on cutting-edge research, programmes, and projects which play an instrumental role in shaping health policy, programming, and practice.
IHM Southern Africa was well represented with a total of 6 abstracts delivered by our team members.
On Monday, October 13th 2017, the USAID Southern Africa Director, Mr. John Groarke, and Director of USAID’s Regional HIV AIDS Program, Mr. Bradly Cronk conducted a site visit to Ezulwini Satellite Clinic in Swaziland to learn more about the Client Management Information System (CMIS), and get an on the ground perspective on how this flagship project was running in one of the local facilities in the country.
On October 2 – 4 2017, IHM Southern Africa participated in the eHealthAfro Conference which took place at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference was organized by the African Centre for eHealth Excellence (ACFEE). This platform integrated a range of contributions from across Africa looking at eHealth and its impact on healthcare transformation with “eHealth for Universal Health Coverage” as the conference theme.
From corporate announcements to employee engagement, a large amount of responsibility falls on the proverbial shoulders of an organization’s internal communications strategy. It’s the cornerstone of any successful organisation – and it’s something that many organisations continue to struggle with. Improving and streamlining communication can be time-consuming and frustrating without the right strategy and tools in place.
Since 2010, the annual global number of new HIV infections among adults (15 years and older) has remained static, at an estimated 1.9 million. Members of Key Populations (KP), including sex workers, people who inject drugs, transgender people, prisoners and men who have sex with men, and their sexual partners accounted for 45% of all new HIV infections in 2015. In some countries and regions, infection rates among key populations are extremely high—HIV prevalence among sex workers varies between 50% and 70% in several countries in southern Africa.
Comprehensive, up to date and precise health information is essential for formulating health policy, and for planning to meet the demand for appropriate health services to improve and promote the well-being of a nation. How does a nation ensure that it has such information? In 2011, Swaziland’s Ministry of Health published its first Health Statistics Report with the objective of presenting information on key health statistics from routine data collection systems and supplemented data at regional and national level. The reports became a feedback product to be used when developing the national health budget and used as a tool for tracking performance.
Figure 1. Nurse Nokufika Chirwa showcasing how she captures patient symptoms and diagnosis in the OPD to Mr Hamfrey Sanhokwe PEPFAR Senior SI and HSS Advisor, and Mr Kent Benson, USAID Southern Africa Health Development Officer
Health facilities in Swaziland have been utilizing a multi-layered paper-based system that employs registers and record cards, with some largely stand-alone computerised record keeping in the Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) programme. This has resulted in a number of issues in the accuracy, breadth, depth and speed of data capture across the health sector.
In efforts to improve the quality of provision that health service clients (patients and users of health services) receive on each visit to a health facility, a single client record template, has been introduced and implemented to replace the current array of separate programme registers and card systems called Client Management Information System (CMIS). The system is being implemented across all Swazi government and partner organisation’s health facilities.
Swaziland, the last absolute monarchy in the world has a population of approximately 1.1 million with 59% under the age of 25. Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world. More than a quarter of adults and an estimated 40% of pregnant women are infected with HIV. These two statistics indicate that the Swazi youth and women are the populations mostly affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country.
The Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland (GKOS) is on an aggressive timeline to achieve the PEPFAR 3.0 goals of 90% of people with HIV diagnosed, 90% of those diagnosed on ART and 90% on ART virally suppressed by 2017 with the support of PEPFAR. Epidemiological modelling suggests that the needs of vulnerable populations must be met to achieve the goal of zero new infection. Thus birthing the introduction and implementation of the Priorities for Local AIDS Controlled Efforts (PLACE) study for Swaziland.
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