With more people living with HIV than in any other country in the world, South Africa has made noteworthy progress in improving services to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.The nation has achieved almost 90% PMTCT treatment coverage of HIV-positive pregnant women, which has drastically reduced transmission to HIV-exposed infants (UNAIDS Global Report 2010).
Since 2007, the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) has provided technical support in South Africa to build quality improvement (QI) systems at the national, provincial, district, facility and community levels to improve the quality of HIV prevention, as well as care and treatment services. At the national level, HCI provides support to the National Department of Health (DOH) to incorporate QI approaches into national HIV strategies and guidelines and mentorship and coaching support to provincial, district and facility level staff. In the provinces, HCI support focuses on integrating QI into strategic and operational plans at all levels of care and increasing the capacity of facilities to provide high quality PMTCT and other HIV services. This short report describes HCI's strategies used to improve PMTCT services in South Africa.