URC’s HIV/AIDS experience in Central America includes PrevenSida, a 10-year effort that achieved or exceeded most of its goals, particularly related to capacity building and strengthening the continuum of care for key populations. Photo credit: URC

Sustainable HIV Knowledge Management Project

The Challenge

In Nicaragua and Panama – like other countries in the Central American Region (CAR) – the HIV epidemic is concentrated in key populations, including men who have sex with other men, transgender women, and sex workers. To guarantee care and treatment for these populations toward achieving the UNAIDS’ 95-95-95 targets and thus ending the HIV epidemic in 2030, civil society organizations (CSOs) and ministries of health (MOHs) and their clinics need to disaggregate data on HIV cases by population type and improve data reporting systems for improved and informed decision-making.

Overview and Objectives

Under URC’s sub-award on the USAID-funded Sustainable HIV Knowledge Management, URC provides technical assistance in three areas:

Strengthening of HIV Health Information Systems: URC works with MOHs, such as the Panamanian MOH, and health facilities to build capacity to monitor the progress and control of the HIV epidemic. URC uses tools such as the Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Assessment Tool (MECAT) to identify and analyze gaps within CAR countries’ HIV health management information systems (HIS).

Continuous Quality Improvement: URC provides technical assistance to the prime (local) organization, AIDS Education and Prevention Center (Centro para la Educación y Prevención del SIDA, CEPRESI), to develop and implement a quality management plan (QMP) to address CEPRESI’s administrative, financial, and technical functions. URC also works with the MOHs and CSOs in managing HIV data quality.

HIV Knowledge Management (KM): URC promotes the use and participation of the Virtual Platform as part of the HIV KM community of practice through virtual courses and webinars that build HIV KM capacity across CAR.

Achievements

URC provides technical assistance to MOH health facilities across CAR countries. In Panama, URC focuses support on nine out of the 16 antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics. In each clinic, URC has helped form quality improvement (QI) teams and train staff on how to implement the QI model and data review processes of the Continuum of Care cascade pillars. As a result of URC’s capacity building, these facilities have seen an improvement in recording patient HIV information and the disaggregation of information by key population type.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HIV cases identified in 2020 had not been registered in Panama’s HIV Health Information Systems database. Prior to URC’s technical assistance, in six of the nine clinics, only 106 of the 404 (26%) new HIV cases had been reported and registered. With URC’s technical assistance, the clinic teams have registered 388 cases (96%), and four clinics have learned to disaggregate their data by key population type.

To support URC’s KM objective, URC has reviewed and updated the content of three virtual courses. URC also has documented and shared two case studies highlighting the QI teams’ work at the ART clinics.

Duration
2020–2024

Countries
Nicaragua and Panama

Regions
Latin America and the Caribbean

Expertise
Global Health Security, Health Service Delivery, HIV/AIDS, and Social and Behavior Change

Funders
USAID

Partners
Center for AIDS Education and Prevention (CEPRESI)