Strengthening Evidence-Based Planning of Integrated Health Service Delivery Through Local Measures of Health Intervention Delivery Times

Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6). 03/2012; 205 Suppl 1:S40-8. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jir775
Source: PubMed


Immunization services in developing countries are increasingly used as platforms for delivery of other health interventions. A challenge for scaling up interventions on existing platforms is insufficient resources allocated to the integrated platform with the risk of overburdening a health worker. Determining the length of time to deliver priority interventions can be useful information in planning integrated services and mitigating this risk. We designed and tested a methodology for collecting the time needed to deliver selected interventions.
At 18 health facilities in Mali, Ethiopia, and Cameroon, we observed delivery of 11 maternal and child health interventions to determine delivery times. We interviewed health workers to estimate self-reported delivery times.
Based on observations, vitamin A supplementation (median, 2:00 minutes per child) and vaccinations (median, 2:22 minutes) took the least amount of time to deliver, whereas human immunodeficiency virus counseling and testing and sick infant treatment interventions were among the longest to deliver. Health worker-reported times to deliver interventions were consistently higher than observed times.
Using locally-obtained data can be useful to step for planners to determine how best to use existing platforms for delivering new interventions, particularly since these interventions may require substantially more time to deliver compared to immunizations.

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    ABSTRACT: Integration of routine vaccination and other maternal and child health services is becoming more common and the services being integrated more diverse. Yet knowledge gaps remain regarding community members and health workers acceptance, priorities, and concerns related to integration. Qualitative health worker interviews and community focus groups were conducted in 4 African countries (Kenya, Mali, Ethiopia, and Cameroon). Integration was generally well accepted by both community members and health workers. Most integrated services were perceived positively by the communities, although perceptions around socially sensitive services (eg, family planning and human immunodeficiency virus) differed by country. Integration benefits reported by both community members and health workers across countries included opportunity to receive multiple services at one visit, time and transportation cost savings, increased service utilization, maximized health worker efficiency, and reduced reporting requirements. Concerns related to integration included being labor intensive, inadequate staff to implement, inadequately trained staff, in addition to a number of more broad health system issues (eg, stockouts, wait times). Communities generally supported integration, and integrated services may have the potential to increase service utilization and possibly even reduce the stigma of certain services. Some concerns expressed related to health system issues rather than integration, per se, and should be addressed as part of a wider approach to improve health services. Improved planning and patient flow and increasing the number and training of health staff may help to mitigate logistical challenges of integrating services.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases