Democratic Republic of Congo Final Country Report
The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project, managed by University Research Co., LLC (URC), provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from October 2013 to December 2016 to improve nutrition services for HIV clients and improve HIV care and treatment services for persons living with HIV (PLHIV).
In fiscal year (FY) 2014, the USAID ASSIST Project worked collaboratively with FHI 360’s Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project (FANTA) and Livelihoods and Food Security Technical Assistance project (LIFT) to improve nutrition services for HIV clients through the integration of nutritional assessment, counselling, and support (NACS) into HIV care and treatment. Together they prepared and delivered trainings, developed tools, and monitored the integration of the NACS approach at 16 targeted health facilities in the DRC. ASSIST, jointly with these partners, also supported the MOH in the DRC to improve quality of nutrition services for HIV clients through the integration of NACS into HIV care and treatment.
In FY15, ASSIST expanded work to improve nutrition services for HIV clients by scaling up best practices to new sites in Kinshasa and Katanga provinces in partnership with LIFT and FANTA. ASSIST was also asked to improve prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services and retention in care assuring good adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for PLHIV, including children and key populations, in targeted facilities in Orientale and Katanga provinces. This was done in collaboration with the Integrated HIV/AIDS Project (ProVIC) implemented by PATH and the Management Sciences for Health (MSH)-led Project de Santé Intégré (PROSANI, Integrated Health Project).
In FY16, ASSIST shifted its focus to address only improvement in HIV care and treatment services for PLHIV in targeted sites in three provinces: Haut-Katanga, Lualaba, and Kinshasa. This work was conducted with ProVIC and PROSANI. In addition, work was focused on strengthening the capacities of national, provincial and Health Zone managers and providers to apply improvement skills. In the first quarter of FY17, ASSIST only worked in the province of Lualaba until the project closed; the technical content was the same as in FY16.
The project closed down at the end of December 2016.