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Partnership for HIV-Free Survival project report on Tanzania-Kenya knowledge exchange published
The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project published a 24-page technical report, Tanzania-Kenya knowledge exchange for the Partnership for HIV-Free Survival, in May 2016 for the Partnership for HIV-Free Survival (PHFS) Project. The knowledge exchange was held between PHFS-participating country representatives from Tanzania and Kenya in partnership with the Ministries of Health of Tanzania and Kenya. It was organized by the ASSIST Project with support from University Research Co., LLC (URC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP). The report was authored by Patty Webster of IHI, Sidhartha Deka of CCP, and Amy Stern of URC.
The report summarizes key learnings on topics (stakeholder engagement, role of the community, care delivery, institutionalization, and scale-up) harvested from exchange sessions, video interviews, one-on-one conversations, reporting back, and individual evaluations. The two country delegations mapped out how they would apply this learning after the meeting. One of the report highlights that stimulated a lot of interest was an image of the Kenya mother-baby register.
It was observed that both Tanzania and Kenya PHFS teams were in the same stage of implementation and got deeper into their sharing of improvement strategies to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The Kenyan team shared and described the use of reporting tools in facilities and the Tanzania team shared their approaches toward community engagement for identifying pregnant mothers that needed to be tested and brought into treatment. The direct peer-to-peer learning was highly valued by participants and led to a deeper exchange that often is not possible during large multi-country meetings.
Participants noted four main recommendations for others to consider when planning similar knowledge exchanges:
- Consider where each team is in their implementation journey when deciding what type of agenda would allow for maximum cross learning to happen
- Be flexible and allow the agenda to alter and change to match participants’ learning needs, as areas of interest will always arise once open conversations and connections start to happen
- Recognize and account for any potential language issues ahead of time
- Factor in time for individuals and then teams to process learning and turn learning into action for post-meeting application
PHFS is a six-country initiative (Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda) that supports current national efforts to improve prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), maternal and infant care, and nutrition support. As part of the PHFS, knowledge exchange visits are arranged to share effective implementation strategies/practices between country teams as well as programmatic challenges and how they are overcome.