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USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project | Burundi
In 2012, PEPFAR requested technical assistance from the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) to ensure that HIV services, including those related to the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT), offered in Burundi respond to quality standards. Building on an initial assessment conducted by HCI, ASSIST partners URC and FHI 360 are supporting the Burundi government to improve the PMTCT clinical practices, address performance factors in the health workforce, and help the country improve its documentation and management of information.
Refining clinical protocols to match the international best practices in PMTCT care is expected to increase the number of pregnant women enrolled in PMTCT therapy, raise the level of adherence to treatment, and expand access beyond the women alone to reach also their husbands and children. But clinical protocols alone will not sustain quality care and expanded access.
To support Burundi in the strengthening of its health system in delivering HIV and primary care services throughout the country, the project will address systems challenges and human resources performance as key elements to maintaining quality of care. Clear job expectations, performance feedback, work environment, incentives, and appropriate competencies are factors critical to the success of any clinical improvement effort; and a strengthened workforce is a cornerstone to sustainable health systems.
- Provide technical assistance at the national, provincial and district levels to service providers and managers to implement improvement activities relating to PMTCT service integration with existing maternal, newborn and child health and HIV services.
- Apply collaborative improvement methods improve uptake of PMTCT services (by mothers, infants, and partners), retention of mothers and infants along the PMTCT cascade (services that flow from prenatal care to postnatal care for the mother-baby pair,) and quality of PMTCT services
- Support the MOH to address human performance factors to enhance providers’ productivity, motivation, and compliance with standards
- Initial efforts will focus on 70 sites in all 14 districts of the four target provinces of Kayanza, Kirundo, Muyinga and Karuzi. Later, ASSIST will support the Ministry of Health to spread best-practice interventions to four more USAID-supported provinces.