Formative Evaluation of Antiretroviral Therapy Scale-Up Efficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa

Published in: AIDS Patient Care and STDs, v. 21, No. 11, Nov. 2007, p. 871-888

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Glenn Wagner, Gery W. Ryan, Stephanie L. Taylor

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.liebertonline.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

With millions in need of HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the developing world, and scarce human and fiscal resources available, the authors conducted a formative evaluation of scale-up operations at clinics associated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Africa to identify lessons learned for improving scale-up efficiency. Site visits were made to six selected clinics in Uganda, Zambia, and South Africa, during which semistructured interviews with key stake-holders and observation of client flows and clinic operations were performed. This evaluation revealed the following lessons related to factors that are critical to efficient ART scale-up: (1) to ensure steady ART uptake, it is important to involve the community and community leaders in outreach, HIV education, and program decision-making; (2) minimizing bottlenecks to smooth patient flow requires efficient staff allocation to appropriate clinical duties, streamlined clinic visit schedule protocols, and tapping clients and the HIV community as a key source of labor; (3) to minimize clients dropping out of care, structures should be developed that enable clients to provide support and a safety net for helping each other remain in care; (4) computerized record management systems are essential for accurate antiretroviral inventory and dispensing records, quality assurance monitoring, and client enrollment records and visit scheduling; (5) effective organizational management and human resource policies are essential to maintain high job performance and satisfaction and limit burnout; (6) to maximize impact on social and economic health, it is important for ART programs to develop effective mechanisms for coordinating and referring clients to support service organizations.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.