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Free Content Implementing joint TB and HIV interventions in a rural district of Malawi: is there a role for an international non-governmental organisation? [Unresolved Issues]

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Abstract:

In a rural district in Malawi, poorly motivated health personnel, shortages of human and financial resources, weak dialogue between existing tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) programmes and poor community involvement are constraints to establishing joint TB-HIV interventions. The presence of a non-governmental organization (NGO), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in the health care delivery system provided an opportunity for bridging some of these gaps. The main inputs provided by MSF included additional staff, supplementary drugs including antiretroviral drugs, technical assistance and infrastructure development. The introduction of a scheme of monthly performance-linked incentives for health personnel proved successful in improving their performance, as judged by attendance rates as well as quality and quantity of activities. This initiative also provided the district management with a tool for exerting pressure on health staff to improve their performance. The availability of independent NGO funds and a logistic team for construction of new infrastructure allowed the rapid initiation of new interventions at the district level without having to wait for disbursements of funds from the central level. This introduced a new dynamic of decentralised operational flexibility at the district level which improved access to care and support for people with TB-HIV.

Keywords: HIV; Malawi; NGO; TB; antiretroviral treatment

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Operational Research (HIV-TB), Médecins Sans Frontières, Medical Department, Brussels Operational Centre, Brussels, Belgium 2: Médecins Sans Frontières-Luxembourg, Thyolo district, Thyolo, Malawi 3: National TB Control Programme, Ministry of Health and Population/DFID, Lilongwe, Malawi 4: Medical Department, Brussels Operational Centre, Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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