Integrating quality improvement in HIV/AIDS care and treatment in the Lualaba Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo to retain PLHIV on antiretroviral therapy
In fiscal years 2015-2016, the USAID ASSIST Project funded by PEPFAR provided technical assistance to improve the retention of people living with HIV (PLHIV) on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 10 health facilities in the province of Lualaba. The work was executed by the USAID ASSIST Project in collaboration with two implementing partners: PATH’s PROVIC Project and MSH’s PROSANI Project.
This intervention was guided by the results of a baseline assessment carried out by ASSIST in the care services of PLHIV from July-August 2015. This baseline assessment highlighted quality gaps in PLHIV care, especially retention and adherence to ART. Based on the baseline results, ASSIST's goal is to help improve the retention of PLHIV on ART to ensure that all patients who start antiretroviral therapy adhere to and continue to receive ART. To achieve its objectives, ASSIST has used the collaborative approach to performance improvement, a process of mutual learning among the 10 sites in the province of Lualaba.
The results show that in November 2015, at the start of the HIV/AIDS collaborative, with a total of 2,358 PLHIV expected in the 10 collaborative sites in the province of Lualaba, only 853 PLHIV were supplied with ARVs: a gap of 1,500 people. With the progressive implementation of change ideas during the intensive phase of the collaborative, in June 2016 with 2,536 PLHIV expected to be on ARVs, 1,566 PLHIV were supplied with ARVs: a gap of 970 cases. Hence, despite the increasing number of PLHIV supported by the sites, the gap of those lost decreased.
This case study allowed us to describe the experience of improving the retention of PLHIVs in ART in one province in DRC.