Building capacity in TB-HIV care through health systems strengthening

28 March 2019

CAPRISA’s Advanced Clinical Care (ACC) programme’s project, making viral load monitoring routine and managing patients with unsuppressed viral load, was rolled out to TB/HIV Care staff in ART facilities in the Chris Hani  district- in the Eastern Cape during a 2-day health-systems strengthening workshop, hosted by CAPRISA recently.

The workshop provided the staff with the knowledge and know how to replicate  a five- step plan implemented in eThekwini implemented between Nov 2016 and November 2017 which  ensured that viral load completion rates improved to > 80% within six months and were sustained to > 90% at 12 months at 3 pilot sites with a total of 9184 patients in care. The plan, which was subsequently expanded by the eThekwini district manager to community health centres and hospital  ARV facilities within the public sector and  resulted in an improvement of the district’s viral load coverage from a  baseline of 43% to 73% within 6 months of scale up.   In addition, more than 20 Viral Load Priority Clinics were  established for the management of patients with complex HIV disease with  virologic failure.

The standard operating procedures and tools of this project developed in partnership with the eThekwini district management,  PEPFAR partners and academics, are endorsed as the best practice model in HIV/TB care by the South African national department of health and neighbouring African countries. The workshop was facilitated by Drs Kogie Naidoo, Head of HIV and TB Treatment and Rochelle Adams, ACC program Manager  at CAPRISA.