The Partnership for Quality Improvement to Improve PMTCT and ART Services in Tanzania: Assessment of Results, Capacity, and Potential for Institutionalization
The USAID Health Care Improvement Project was asked by USAID in 2007 to assist the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Work (MoHSW), regional and district level stakeholders, and implementing partners to set up a national Quality Improvement (QI) program for ART/PMTCT services in line with the Tanzania National Quality Improvement Framework. The QI program soon became known as the Partnership for Quality Improvement (PQI). The main aims of the PQI were to: 1) Build capacity for a harmonized QI approach among the many implementing partner organizations working this area, thereby accelerating the speed of and increasing the resource pool for QI in Tanzania; 2) Strengthen capacity for QI at national, regional, district and health facility levels (particularly in light of recent health care reforms to decentralize health services); and 3) Demonstrate the effectiveness of QI collaborative methods in improving patient outcomes in a limited number of regions (a prototype prior to spreading to additional regions).
HCI worked with the National AIDS Control Program (NACP) and the Dutch NGO PharmAccess to develop and implement the PQI. PQI was first launched in Tanga in May 2008 in partnership with AIDS Relief; the second region, Morogoro was included in February 2009, with Family Health International (FHI); and the third region, Mtwara, was added in June 2009 with The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). CHAI and EGPAF also committed their own funding and began to replicate PQI in late 2009 to the Lindi region.
The evaluation study examined how well the PQI has worked in the three first regions (Tanga, Morogoro, and Mtwara) and identified how the approach could be further strengthened or modified for spread to other regions in Tanzania in the future.