FHI 360 strengthens health systems and service delivery across DRC
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), FHI 360 is building the capacity of health care workers to improve the delivery of HIV/AIDS care and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services.
The need is great. In 2010, as many as 85 percent of women surveyed attended their first antenatal consultation, yet only 11 percent of pregnant women in DRC receive lifesaving PMTCT services. An analysis conducted to better understand why women are not receiving these services found several bottlenecks in the national health system, including an insufficient number of health care workers trained to provide PMTCT services. A National Plan to Eliminate HIV Mother-to-Child Transmission was developed and is supported through the Capacity Building HIV/AIDS in DRC program, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Under the leadership of DRC’s National Program to Fight Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS, (PNLS) and technical assistance provided by FHI 360, FHI 360 helped train 825 health care workers on HIV and PMTCT integrated services. The trainings — conducted between October 2011 and September 2012 — reached health care workers from 314 health structures across Kinshasa, Katanga and Orientale provinces. The workshops emphasized prevention, testing and counseling, appropriate antiretroviral medication to prevent transmission, gender-based violence, family planning and child vaccinations.
As part of the project, FHI 360 is also providing technical assistance to strengthen the Congolese health system and the ability of national institutions to organize, plan and implement training designed to increase the skills of service providers within local health care structures. These capacity-building activities include scaling up and providing quality PMTCT programs and services, and supporting the national PMTCT monitoring system.