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Quality Improvement Stories: Improving the Referral System for HIV Clients in the Livingstone and Kazungula Districts of Zambia

October 2012 — Under the Corridors of Hope HIV/AIDS Prevention Initiative (COH III), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, FHI 360 helps strengthen the continuum of HIV care by improving services at wellness centers where patients with HIV are referred for additional services.

As the primary implementing partner of COH, FHI 360 led and managed a quality improvement project in Livingstone and Kazungula districts in Zambia to determine the factors discouraging clients with HIV from visiting their referred antiretroviral treatment facility. Under the project, FHI 360 established a team dedicated to ensuring that at least 50 percent of referred clients reached their antiretroviral facility within two months. To meet this target, the team identified the issues contributing to poor continuum of care and, based on these findings, introduced changes in the wellness centers to encourage increased referral visits. This publication highlights the findings, conclusions and next steps from the quality improvement project.