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USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Tanzania


Funded by: US Agency for International Development (USAID) through USAID/Tanzania and USAID Bureau for Global Health, Office of HIV and AIDS

Project Duration: October 2012 to present

Countries: Tanzania

Overview

Building on the work of the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI), the USAID ASSIST Project works with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and implementing partners to scale up evidence-based strategies and best practices on how to improve the delivery of services to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and of antiretroviral treatment (ART) services to additional regions. The focus includes an analysis of barriers to implementation and finding solutions to identified gaps.

For PMTCT, the target is to support national efforts to the reduce mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) from the estimated 26% in 2011 to 4% in 2015. ASSIST’s strategic focus is on strengthening supply chain management; developing institutional human capacity in PMTCT; and improving pediatric HIV care, treatment, and support. The project will also strengthen the integration of PMTCT and pediatric HIV care, treatment, and support services at all levels.

For ART, ASSIST’s focus is to build the capacity of Regional Health Management Teams (RHMTs) and Council Health Management Team (CHMTs) to coach and mentor facility-based improvement teams to reduce loss to follow-up, increase TB screening, and improve adherence to anti-retroviral drugs.

Also under HCI, URC provided technical support to the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and implementing partners serving most-vulnerable children (MVC) to improve the quality of services by implementing the MVC guidelines at the point of service delivery to improve the lives of children and their households. In fiscal year 2013, ASSIST will continue to support DSW and MVC implementing partners to build on the existing systems and structures for the care, support, and protection of most-vulnerable children through addressing implementation barriers.

ASSIST also supports the MOHSW and implementing partners to meet national standard operating procedures for home-based care (HBC) of persons living with HIV and to strengthen the collection of data on HBC and use of the HBC recording and reporting system.

Key Activities
  • Support MOHSW and PMTCT implementing partners to scale up programs providing women and their families improved access to quality care along the PMTCT cascade.
  • Improve access to HIV prevention, testing, care, treatment, and support for pregnant women and their families.
  • Promote couple counseling and the sensitization of partners of pregnant women receiving reproductive and child health to better support the retention of HIV-positive pregnant women in the PMTCT cascade.
  • Support MOHSW and implementing partners to scale up sustainable improvements in coverage, retention, and outcomes for patients on ART.
  • Support MOHSW, MVC implementing partners, and local structures to strengthen quality of care, support, and protection for vulnerable children and families.
  • Work with MOHSW and stakeholders to improve the quality of community-level home-based care.
  • Improve uptake and retention of PMTCT services in Iringa Region.
  • Enhance the performance of Regional and Council Health Management Teams in Lindi Region.
  • Strengthen the community linkages piece to support HIV services improvement in Morogoro Region.

Expertise
Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health; HIV and AIDS; Vulnerable Children and Families

Approaches
Quality Improvement; Health Systems Strengthening; Research and Evaluation


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