Health Facility Characteristics and Their Relationship to Coverage of PMTCT of HIV Services across Four African Countries: The PEARL Study

University of California, San Francisco, United States of America
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 01/2012; 7(1):e29823. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029823
Source: PubMed


Health facility characteristics associated with effective prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) coverage in sub-Saharan are poorly understood.

Methodology/Principal Findings
We conducted surveys in health facilities with active PMTCT services in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, and Zambia. Data was compiled via direct observation and exit interviews. We constructed composite scores to describe provision of PMTCT services across seven topical areas: antenatal quality, PMTCT quality, supplies available, patient satisfaction, patient understanding of medication, and infrastructure quality. Pearson correlations and Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) to account for clustering of facilities within countries were used to evaluate the relationship between the composite scores, total time of visit and select individual variables with PMTCT coverage among women delivering.
Between July 2008 and May 2009, we collected data from 32 facilities; 78% were managed by the government health system. An opt-out approach for HIV testing was used in 100% of facilities in Zambia, 63% in Cameroon, and none in Côte d'Ivoire or South Africa. Using Pearson correlations, PMTCT coverage (median of 55%, (IQR: 33–68) was correlated with PMTCT quality score (rho = 0.51; p = 0.003); infrastructure quality score (rho = 0.43; p = 0.017); time spent at clinic (rho = 0.47; p = 0.013); patient understanding of medications score (rho = 0.51; p = 0.006); and patient satisfaction quality score (rho = 0.38; p = 0.031). PMTCT coverage was marginally correlated with the antenatal quality score (rho = 0.304; p = 0.091). Using GEE adjustment for clustering, the, antenatal quality score became more strongly associated with PMTCT coverage (p<0.001) and the PMTCT quality score and patient understanding of medications remained marginally significant.

We observed a positive relationship between an antenatal quality score and PMTCT coverage but did not identify a consistent set of variables that predicted PMTCT coverage.

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    • "After their graduation, almost all of them are employed by government and become registered midwives who work in government health facilities. Their duties are to manage pregnancy, childbirth and to engage in preventive activities such as the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT), family planning as well as vaccination of mothers and children [18,19]. Those midwives, who are in contact daily with mothers and children, could play a major role in the prevention of CC through awareness, screening and vaccination, if these activities were effectively included as part of their scope of work. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women and the leading cause of cancer deaths in women in Cote d'Ivoire. Low resource countries can now prevent this cancer by using HPV vaccine and effective and affordable screening tests. However the implementation of these prevention strategies needs well-trained human resources. Part of the solution could come from midwives by integrating cervical cancer prevention into reproductive health services. The aim of this survey was to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of midwives towards cervical cancer prevention in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, and to find out factors associated with appropriate knowledge. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among midwives in the urban district of Abidjan, using a self-administered questionnaire. Knowledge was assessed by two scores. Factors associated with appropriate knowledge were determined using a logistic regression analysis. Attitudes and practices were described and compare using the Chi2 test. A total of 592 midwives were enrolled, including 24.5% of final-year students. 55.7% of midwives had appropriate knowledge on cervical cancer, and 42.4% of them had appropriate knowledge on cervical cancer prevention strategies. Conferences, courses taken at school of midwifery and special training sessions on cervical cancer (OR = 4.9, 95% CI [1.9 to 12.6], p <0.01) were associated with good knowledge on the management of this disease. Among these midwives, 18.4% had already benefited from a screening test for themselves, 37.7% had already advised screening to patients and 8.4% were able to perform a visual inspection. 50.3% of midwives knew HPV vaccine as a preventive method; among them 70.8% usually recommended it to young girls. Despite sufficient knowledge about cervical cancer prevention, attitudes and practices of midwives should be improved by organizing capacity building activities. This would ensure the success of integration of cervical cancer prevention into reproductive health services in countries like Cote d'Ivoire.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BMC Health Services Research
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    • "Improving the quality and the delivery of HIV prevention, care, and treatment services for women and children is an essential part of WHO’s PMTCT strategic vision 2010–2015 [5]. In Zambia, improvements in PMTCT service delivery have the potential to increase the number of women receiving ART and reduce the number of infants born with HIV [9,13,14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Zambian Defence Force (ZDF) is working to improve the quality of services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) at its health facilities. This study evaluates the impact of an intervention that included provider training, supportive supervision, detailed performance standards, repeated assessments of service quality, and task shifting of group education to lay workers. Four ZDF facilities implementing the intervention were matched with four comparison sites. Assessors visited the sites before and after the intervention and completed checklists while observing 387 antenatal care (ANC) consultations and 41 group education sessions. A checklist was used to observe facilities' infrastructure and support systems. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted of findings on provider performance during consultations. Among 137 women observed during their initial ANC visit, 52% came during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, but 19% waited until the 28th week or later. Overall scores for providers' PMTCT skills rose from 58% at baseline to 73% at endline (p=0.003) at intervention sites, but remained stable at 52% at comparison sites. Especially large gains were seen at intervention sites in family planning counseling (34% to 75%, p=0.026), HIV testing during return visits (13% to 48%, p=0.034), and HIV/AIDS management during visits that did not include an HIV test (1% to 34%, p=0.004). Overall scores for providers' ANC skills rose from 67% to 74% at intervention sites, but declined from 65% to 59% at comparison sites; neither change was significant in the multivariate analysis. Overall scores for group education rose from 87% to 91% at intervention sites and declined from 78% to 57% at comparison sites. The overall facility readiness score rose from 73% to 88% at intervention sites and from 75% to 82% at comparison sites. These findings are relevant to civilian as well as military health systems in Zambia because the two are closely coordinated. Lessons learned include: the ability of detailed performance standards to draw attention to and strengthen areas of weakness; the benefits of training lay workers to take over non-clinical PMTCT tasks; and the need to encourage pregnant women to seek ANC early.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · BMC Health Services Research
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    • "Low perception of personal risk, poor access to testing sites, cost, confidentiality, and HIV-related stigma have all been identified as barriers to HIV testing [11-14]. Barriers to optimal PMTCT exist at the level of the patients and providers, but barriers at the health systems level appear to have more adverse impact on healthcare in general [15-17]. Most women in Nigeria do not access prenatal care early in pregnancy, and only 35% of pregnant women deliver in a health facility where just 2.9% have an established PMTCT program [9,18,19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background A total of 22 priority countries have been identified by the WHO that account for 90% of pregnant women living with HIV. Nigeria is one of only 4 countries among the 22 with an HIV testing rate for pregnant women of less than 20%. Currently, most pregnant women must access a healthcare facility (HF) to be screened and receive available prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) interventions. Finding new approaches to increase HIV testing among pregnant women is necessary to realize the WHO/ President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) goal of eliminating new pediatric infections by 2015. Methods This cluster randomized trial tests the comparative effectiveness of a congregation-based Healthy Beginning Initiative (HBI) versus a clinic-based approach on the rates of HIV testing and PMTCT completion among a cohort of church attending pregnant women. Recruitment occurs at the level of the churches and participants (in that order), while randomization occurs only at the church level. The trial is unblinded, and the churches are informed of their randomization group. Eligible participants, pregnant women attending study churches, are recruited during prayer sessions. HBI is delivered by trained community health nurses and church-based health advisors and provides free, integrated on-site laboratory tests (HIV plus hemoglobin, malaria, hepatitis B, sickle cell gene, syphilis) during a church-organized ‘baby shower.’ The baby shower includes refreshments, gifts exchange, and an educational game show testing participants’ knowledge of healthy pregnancy habits in addition to HIV acquisition modes, and effective PMTCT interventions. Baby receptions provide a contact point for follow-up after delivery. This approach was designed to reduce barriers to screening including knowledge, access, cost and stigma. The primary aim is to evaluate the effect of HBI on the HIV testing rate among pregnant women. The secondary aims are to evaluate the effect of HBI on the rate of HIV testing among male partners of pregnant women and the rate of PMTCT completion among HIV-infected pregnant women. Discussion Results of this study will provide further understanding of the most effective strategies for increasing HIV testing among pregnant women in hard-to-reach communities. Trial Registration, NCT01795261
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Implementation Science
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