URC’s USAID Health Care Improvement Project Announces 2012 Best Improvement Report

The USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) has selected the entry from Mrs. Racheal Mwape of Lusaka, Zambia, as the winner of its 2012 "Best Health Care Improvement Report" contest. Mrs. Mwape is the Executive Director of Community Based TB/HIV/AIDS Organisation (CBTO), a Zambian nongovernmental organization involved in care, treatment, prevention, and support activities for people infected with and affected by TB and HIV. 

In collaboration with her team—Margaret Makukula, Evelyn Mwansa, and Barbara Kashiwa—Mrs. Mwape submitted "Improving early detection of TB treatment defaulters among unsupervised patients through their adherence to scheduled dates of TB drug collection at CBTO's TB Treatment Centre in Lusaka, Zambia." The report explains how CBTO introduced a simple monitoring system and appointment reminders that reduced the center's TB treatment defaulter rate from 35% in 2007 to 4% in 2009. 

Mrs. Mwape noted that inadequate funding is a constant challenge as CBTO pursues its mission. "My team and I have to constantly think of ways to deliver a quality service to our clients within our modest budget," she said. "This has made us come up with various strategies to cut costs but still achieve our objectives." 

HCI received 57 reports from health care implementers in 20 countries, including Jordan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Topics ranged from improving HIV patient care and reducing health care-associated infections to expanding community outreach for health care services. A panel of judges selected CBTO's report because it presents the most complete and compelling description of specific changes made and results achieved by health care providers and implementers to improve patient care in a local setting.

Asked why she entered the contest, Mrs. Mwape said, "I strongly believe that it is critically important that such strategies are shared with others who may have similar challenges; that is why, when I came across the Best Improvement Report Contest, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to share not just an improvement but one that can be implemented with a very modest budget. To my surprise and total delight – it ended up winning!"

Hosted by HCI, Mrs. Mwape will present her work at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, from July 22–27, 2012. 

Please visit HCI's Improvement Database to read Mrs. Mwape's full report and reports from health workers around the globe on how they are applying quality improvement-driven interventions to reach new levels of care for patients.

April 06, 2012
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