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Advanced Disease and Patient Care/Cryptococcal Antigen Screening and Treatment in Tanzania

High-quality, effective, and evidence-based service delivery for HIV care and prevention requires a broad continuum of integrated and linked services to ensure consistent and high-quality client management over time. With the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation to “Treat All,” eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among People Living with HIV (PLHIV) is eliminated, and all populations and age groups are linked in one universal policy. This recommendation change erases the distinction between all groups. However, a substantial number of PLHIV still present late to care and have advanced disease, and require interventions that prioritize clinical packages to reduce mortality and morbidity and eventually enable them to become clinically stable [1].

Working with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children­­ in Tanzania and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation (CDC-F), I-TECH is implementing a Cryptococcal antigen screening (CrAg) prevention and treatment training in 15 health facilities. This effort has included developing a standardized Cryptococcal training program with support from a Technical Working Group, the National HIV/ TB task force and key experts. The package is used to conduct a Sensitization meeting to Regional/Council Health Managers, Matrons, facility-in-charges, and Implementing Partners and to orient 60 health care workers. The project will also provide onsite supportive supervision and mentorship to those 15 facilities to ensure that the Cryptococcal antigen project is implemented to full fidelity. Data from this process will inform Cryptococcal Antigen programming nationally.

  1. WHO Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection. Recommendations for a public health approach. Second Edition. Geneva. 2016.