The I-TECH Certificate Program in Laboratory Leadership and Management (CPLLM) was a nine-month course that trained laboratory staff in supervisory positions leadership and management skills to make substantive and impactful improvements in laboratory testing quality and operations. The program was developed in 2013 and first piloted in 2014.
I-TECH supported the National Department of Health (NDoH) in the process of strengthening the policy management and implementation systems with a focus on reaching the 95-95-95 targets and provided ongoing technical assistance as the NDoH beta tested the policy information management system (PIMS) developed in COP 2017.
I-TECH supported the revision and finalization of a Policy Manual and coordinated with the NDoH Policy Project Steering Committee to promote engagement from NDoH staff.
I-TECH supported the implementation of a Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) phased intervention to enhance ward-based Outreach Team (WBOT).
In collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and The Knowledge Translation Unit, I-TECH worked with the National Department of Health (NDoH) in South Africa to strengthen the integration of mental health services into routine chronic care within the primary health care system.
The Mental Health Integration (MhINT) program improves access to care for common mental disorders and benefits adherence and engagement in care, aligning with the UNAIDS 95-95-95 strategy. I-TECH provided technical assistant to the NDoH and district support partners (DSPs) as the MhINT Program was scaled-up in priority districts identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global AIDS Program (CDC GAP), South Africa, through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). I-TECH also supported the NDoH as it conducted an in-depth policy situation analysis to inform the development of a national policy incorporating the MhINT program.
Through the South African Men’s HIV Self-Testing, I-TECH demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of an intervention model utilizing community health workers and outreach team leaders to increase uptake of HIV testing and treatment initiation among undiagnosed HIV-positive men.
I-TECH began working with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other implementing partners in 2016 to develop and implement robust national health information systems (HIS) that enable greater efficiency and accountability and strategic use of information.
These HIS included:
- Real-time Reporting System: Support a real-time SMS-based reporting system that utilizes a toll-free for rapid interpretation and remediation of service delivery challenges related to HIV testing services (HTS), HIV care & treatment, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and tuberculosis (TB).
- TB Health Information System: Develop and maintain the national TB patient level health information management system based on the OpenMRS platform to increase efficiency in identification, care, and treatment of TB patients.
- HIV National Data Warehouse: Ensure the availability of strategic information to monitor progress toward reaching epidemic control, with particular focus on Treat All, linkages to care, and HIV clinical cascade for 90-90-90 care continuum.
- DHIS2 for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): Provide aggregate data down to the facility level from HIV programs including antiretroviral therapy, PMTCT, and HTS for use by the national program and M&E staff to monitor program success.
I-TECH HIS programming in Botswana ended in 2021. To learn more about the program, please see the I-TECH Botswana Over the Years: Improving the Health of Communities in Botswana through Strong, Compassionate, and Equitable Health Systems brochure.
I-TECH Botswana provided national-level technical assistance to improve HIV care and treatment, tuberculosis and HIV, and HIV testing and counselling programs through continuous quality improvement (QI) activities from 2016 to 2022.
I-TECH Botswana collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) to help strengthen health systems to improve quality of HIV service delivery through the secondment of a QI technical advisor and by providing support for the development of continuous quality improvement activities at MOHW. I-TECH Botswana also developed and supported district- and facility-level QI teams in 11 PEPFAR districts, who come together for regular collaborative meetings to share successes and lessons learned and identify issues for support visits.
To learn more about I-TECH’s CQI activities in Botswana, please see the I-TECH Botswana Over the Years: Improving the Health of Communities in Botswana through Strong, Compassionate, and Equitable Health Systems brochure.
I-TECH Botswana worked to strengthen external quality assurances for HIV-related testing by conducting regular on-site proficiency testing support visits, conducted competency assessments and carried out continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities at 22 I-TECH-supported labs (45% of the labs in the country) between 2016 and 2021. I-TECH Botswana also provided technical assistance and support to the Botswana National Quality Assurance Lab (BNQAL).
To learn more about the I-TECH laboratory CQI program activities, please see the I-TECH Botswana Over the Years: Improving the Health of Communities in Botswana through Strong, Compassionate, and Equitable Health Systems brochure.
I-TECH Botswana conducted facility-based HIV testing at selected PEPFAR supported scale-up sites in seven PEPFAR districts between 2011 and 2020. Testing was carried out by Health Care Assistants and included expanded provider initiated testing, counseling, and partner notification. In addition, I-TECH Botswana conducted regular continuous quality improvement visits at I-TECH-supported facilities and provided support for linkage to care. Continue reading “HIV Testing Services in Botswana”
In 2017, in collaboration with the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene (MSHP), the National Public Health Reference Laboratory (LNSP), and a local accreditation organization, the Regional Center for Health Evaluation and Accreditation (CRESAC), I-TECH conducted a baseline assessment of laboratory services at 50 laboratories across Côte d’Ivoire.
The purpose of the joint assessment was to determine the laboratory’s capacity to provide HIV and clinical diagnostic services. More specifically, I-TECH aimed to determine the number of laboratorians and HIV counseling and testing staff trained and certified in HIV testing; the quality and timeliness of HIV and clinical diagnostic tests; and the status of each laboratory in order to prepare them for laboratory accreditation under the SLIPTA (WHO’s Stepwise Laboratory Improvement Process Towards Accreditation) scheme.