Posted by Share-Net NL on September 1, 2014 at 9:17 am
Despite seven years of investment from the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the expansion of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related services continues to challenge Mozambique’s health-care infrastructure, especially in the country’s rural regions.
In 2012, as part of a national acceleration plan for HIV care and treatment, Namacurra district employed a mobile clinic strategy to provide temporary manpower and physical space to expand services at four rural peripheral clinics. This paper describes the strategy deployed, the uptake of services and the key lessons learnt in the first 18 months of implementation.
In 2012, Namacurra´s adult population was estimated to be 125 425, and of those 15 803 were estimated to be HIV infected. Although there is consistent government support of antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes, national coverage remains low, with less than 15% of those eligible having received ART by December 2012.
Between April 2012 and September 2013, Namacurra district enrolled 4832 new patients into HIV care and treatment. By using the mobile clinic strategy for ART expansion, the district was able to expand provision of ART from two to six (of a desired seven) clinics by September 2013.
Mobile clinic strategies could rapidly expand HIV care and treatment in under-funded settings in ways that both build local capacity and are sustainable for local health systems. The clinics best serve as a transition to improved capacity at fixed-site services.