Insights from ICASA: A New Approach to Rapid Scale Up of PMTCT at the District Level

In Swaziland EGPAF supports 113 sites that provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services.

James Pursey/Swaziland

This session was hosted by UNICEF and was moderated by Chip Lyons, EGPAF President and CEO.

The purpose of this session was to highlight what several priority countries of the Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 have done to sharpen their national, and subnational strategies and plans using Data Driven Planning Approaches (DDPA). The DDPA is an assessment, planning, and monitoring tool based on bottleneck analysis that is aimed at empowering districts, improving prioritization, accountability, and more efficient use of resources and broader decision making.

In this session there were presentations from Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Cameroon on how they used the bottleneck analysis tool (BNT) developed by UNICEF to conduct bottleneck analysis in their health programs. The BNT is a tool that assists program managers, policy makers and implementers to identify bottlenecks in their programs and to make informed decisions. Bottlenecks to optimal Maternal Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) service uptake were identified using the tool, and local level data from the health information systems. Bottlenecks in supply chain management, human resources, and systems were also identified using the tool.

The session underscored the importance of data use at local level and district levels.  Elimination of new HIV infections in children cannot be achieved without addressing the gaps at health facility levels and involvement of stakeholders, facility staff, and partners. The session also emphasized that bottleneck analysis is evidence based and uses participatory approaches to identifying gaps within program and hence informed prioritization.  Bottleneck analysis also enables informed decision making and improves ownership of programs by all stakeholders.  This analysis is a framework that allows methodical and logical approaches to problem solving and decision making.

Auxilia Muchedzi is the Technical Officer-Operations Research Lead for EGPAF Zimbabwe.
Insights from ICASA is a blog series featuring the stories and thoughts of EGPAF experts and staff participating in and attending the 17th International Conference on STIs in Africa.