Since 2003, I-TECH Malawi has provided technical assistance to the Malawi Ministry of Health and partners to support national health systems strengthening initiatives and a timely national HIV response through the implementation of robust prevention, care, and treatment strategies along the care continuum. This includes PMTCT Option B+, voluntary male medical circumcision, and the integrated management of HIV. Drawing on expertise from I-TECH’s global network, including the University of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco, I-TECH has greatly improved the country’s capacity to develop a competent health care workforce and administer quality HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs.
Technical support has been provided in a variety of areas, including the rapid dissemination of priority in-service health care worker trainings, monitoring and evaluation, quality improvement efforts, supply chain logistics, grants management, program management, and establishing information systems, at both national and local levels. I-TECH Malawi also works closely with pre-service training partners and professional regulatory bodies to address critical HRH bottlenecks by strengthening educational programs for healthcare cadres and ensuring the safe delivery of quality health services. In all of its efforts, I-TECH emphasizes strong collaborative planning, targeted needs assessments, interventions that address priority needs, sustainability, and local ownership of programs.
Together, I-TECH Malawi, the Malawi Ministry of Health, and partners work continuously to address the country’s health priorities, including curbing the HIV epidemic towards an AIDS free generation through the efficient scale up of HIV resources and services. Through close collaboration, they endeavor to build a highly capable and organized health care workforce and make quality care available to a greater number of Malawians.
In-Service Capacity Building
I-TECH Malawi collaborates with local partners to:
- Build on the strength of the Ministry of Health by providing and supporting technical experts in HIV care and treatment, monitoring and evaluation, logistics and drug forecasting, and program management.
- Promote Malawi’s HIV Fellowship Program, which prepares and retains Malawian public health specialists to support HIV care, policy, and prevention.
- Provide ongoing support to the Lighthouse Trust, a Center of Excellence in HIV care and treatment and the largest ART clinic in the Central region, to conduct clinical and programmatic evaluations while mentoring staff on analytic skills.
- Support local partners to scale up safe male circumcision services by increasing service delivery; training health care workers in safe, efficient procedures; generating increased demand; improving quality assurance and control; and increasing operations research to assess and improve activities.
- Provide instructional design and clinical technical assistance to develop, revise, and update various national training packages, including HTC and the integrated management of HIV.
- Roll out national training packages through training of trainer (TOT) methodologies and strategic planning for establishing training cascades from national to zonal to district levels.
- Ensure high-quality HIV care, treatment, and support for Malawian adults and children through integrated care and robust monitoring and evaluation.
- Improve the confidence and capacity of practicing health care workers to deliver integrated care through training, clinical mentoring, and continuous quality improvement initiatives.
- Conduct in-service program assessments, which guide sustainable, cost-effective program improvements.
- Provide accurate data for forecasting and support supply chain systems so that antiretroviral medications are available when and where they are needed.
- Implement systems to collect and organize strategic information at the Ministry of Health, HIV care and treatment institutions, and academic institutions.
- Build local capacity to coordinate Global Fund grants, develop proposals, and manage awards, to encourage sustainable funding.
Pre-Service Capacity Building
I-TECH Malawi collaborates with local partners to:
- Support training colleges to strengthen faculty clinical teaching skills through the establishment of faculty mentoring programs at Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) Nursing and Midwifery Colleges
- Conduct task analyses in order to help inform the development of evidence-based syllabi and curricula for health cadres.
- Implement joint supportive supervision programs to monitor the progress of curriculum implementation at training institutions.
- Electronically capture and use student data for educational improvement and HRH tracking purposes.
- Expand the pool of available family medicine experts through strengthening the Family Medicine Program at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine.
- Conduct pre-service program assessments, which guide sustainable, cost-effective program improvements.
- Support a competent health care workforce by providing technical assistance to regulatory organizations to strengthen continuous professional development programs.
- Support successful task-shifting and safe and ethical clinical practices through the revision and updating of scopes of practice and codes of ethics for professional health cadres.