Expansion of antiretroviral treatment to rural health centre level by a mobile service in Mumbwa district, Zambia

Mumbwa District Health Office, Mumbwa, Zambia.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation (Impact Factor: 5.09). 10/2010; 88(10):788-91. DOI: 10.2471/BLT.09.063982
Source: PubMed


Despite the Government's effort to expand services to district level, it is still hard for people living with HIV to access antiretroviral treatment (ART) in rural Zambia. Strong demands for expanding ART services at the rural health centre level face challenges of resource shortages.
The Mumbwa district health management team introduced mobile ART services using human resources and technical support from district hospitals, and community involvement at four rural health centres in the first quarter of 2007. This paper discusses the uptake of the mobile ART services in rural Mumbwa.
Mumbwa is a rural district with an area of 23 000 km² and a population of 167 000. Before the introduction of mobile services, ART services were provided only at Mumbwa District Hospital.
The mobile services improved accessibility to ART, especially for clients in better functional status, i.e. still able to work. In addition, these mobile services may reduce the number of cases "lost to follow-up". This might be due to the closer involvement of the community and the better support offered by these services to rural clients.
These mobile ART services helped expand services to rural health facilities where resources are limited, bringing them as close as possible to where clients live.

Download full-text


Available from: Kazuhiro Kakimoto
  • Source
    • "The mobile service increased the number of ART clients in the study district probably because it reduced the long distances required to travel to health services in rural areas. Interestingly, clients found HIV-infected in mobile unit were generally starting ART at an early stage of HIV disease [42], likely because mobile ART services might have also encouraged people to seek voluntary counseling and testing, much earlier before presenting symptoms. Furthermore, involvement of the community such as lay counselors and support groups increased the number of patients retained at the original site compared to hospitals [42]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A mobile health unit may be useful to follow up adult and pediatric patients on antiretroviral treatment and living in remote areas devoid of laboratory facilities. The study evaluated the use of the simplified, robust, single-plateform, volumetric, pan-leucogating Auto40 flow cytometer (Apogee Flow Systems Ltd, Hemel Hempstead, UK) for CD4 T cell numeration in a mobile unit, compared against a reference flow cytometry method. The therapeutic mobile unit of the Laboratoire National de Santé Hygiène Mobile, Yaoundé, Cameroon, was equipped with the Auto40. A FACSCalibur flow cytometer (Becton Dickinson Immuno-cytometry System, San Jose, CA, USA) was used as reference method. EDTA-blood samples from volunteers were first subjected to CD4 T cell count in the mobile unit, and an aliquot was sent within 4 hours to Centre International de Référence Chantal Biya, Yaoundé, for FACSCalibur assay. Two HIV screening campaigns with the mobile unit were organised in December 2009 and January 2010. The campaign in the suburb of Yaoundé which was 20 km from the reference laboratory included 188 volunteers comprising 93 children less than 5 years old. The campaign in Ambang Bikok (53 km far from Yaoundé) included 69 adult volunteers. In Yaoundé suburb, mean ± standard deviation (SD) CD4 T cell count was 996 ± 874 cells/μl by Auto40, and 989 ± 883 cells/μl by FACSCalibur; in Ambang Bikok, mean ± SD CD4 T cell count was 1041 ± 317 cells/μl by Auto40, and 1032 ± 294 cells/μl by FACSCalibur. Results by Auto40 and FACSCalibur were highly correlated in Yaoundé (r(2) = 0.982) as in Ambang Bikok (r(2) = 0.921). Bland-Altman analysis showed a close agreement between Auto40 and FACSCalibur results expressed in absolute count as in percentage in Yaoundé and Ambang Bikok. When pooling the 257 CD4 T cell count measurements, the Auto40 yielded a mean difference of +7.6 CD4 T cells/μl higher than by reference flow cytometry; and the sensitivity and specificity of Auto40 in enumerating absolute CD4 T cell counts of less than 200 cells/μl were 87% and 99%, respectively, and in enumerating absolute CD4 T cell counts of less than 350 cells/μl were 87% and 98%, respectively. The intrarun and interun precisions of the Auto40 assay assessed in the mobile unit were 5.5% and 7.9%, respectively. The Auto40 flow cytometer installed in a therapeutic mobile unit and operated far from its reference laboratory gave a perfect correlation with the reference method, and could be useful in carrying out immunological monitoring of HIV-infected patients living in areas without access to laboratory facilities.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Translational Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Given the lack of evidence on how to best design and implement antiretroviral therapy (ART) scaling-up policies, operational research has seen a surge in interest. There is, however, little published information on the contribution of operational research in ART programs' implementation or in improvement of associated outcomes. The article focuses therefore on how operational research may contribute to such improvements and what the key enabling factors are for its integration into program frameworks. One of the most systematic operational research linked to a national ART program on the African continent was conducted in Cameroon between 2006 and 2010. Along with operational research carried out elsewhere in Africa, it helped demonstrate that a strategy of decentralizing HIV care can increase treatment coverage and improve early access to care, while maintaining good clinical outcomes. Multipartnership between local researchers, national authorities, healthcare professionals and the civil society is the key enabling factor for the relevance of operational research and the translation of its results into policy and practice. In spite of a dramatic increase in access to ART during recent years in low-income countries, the fight against HIV remains a failure in terms of the goal of breaking the pandemic dynamic. Operational research is needed more than ever to face this challenge.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Current opinion in HIV and AIDS
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Laboratory monitoring for HIV disease in resource-limited settings has now become one of the key challenges for antiretroviral treatment (ART) access and success, as emphasized by the 2010 revised WHO guidelines for ART in resource-limited settings. Thus, the most common method for initiating ART, and monitoring treatment response in resource-constrained environments is the measurement of CD4 T-cell count. Affordable CD4 T-cell counting has gradually been made possible by using simple, compact and robust, low-cost, new-generation cytometers, operating as single-platform volumetric instruments. Several cost-effective point-of-care CD4 T-cell testing options are also already on the market, in order to improve access to CD4 T-cell monitoring, especially for rural patients, and to reduce loss-to-follow-up of patients. In addition, HIV RNA viral load measurement is becoming increasingly important, mainly for a systematic confirmation of first-line ART failure before switching to second-line treatment to avoid belated as well as premature therapeutic decisions and their potentially negative consequences. Viral load testing should now be considered as the standard of care for therapeutic failure in all resource-limited settings. However, the measurement of HIV viral load remains a centralized marker, carried out in a limited number of reference laboratories. Finally, the costs of second-line ART regimens, rather than the laboratory test costs themselves, currently constitute the primary determinant of the total cost in ART switching. Laboratory monitoring strategies may become more attractive as price negotiations render second-line ART regimens less expensive worldwide.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Future Microbiology
Show more