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Towards universal access to prevention, treatment and care: experiences and challenges from the Mbeya region in Tanzania -- a case study.
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2007 Mar. 49 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS/07.11E; JC1291E)This study takes stock of the situation in Mbeya in 2005, documenting the region's continuing efforts to build on the Regional Programme's strong comprehensive prevention approaches to further increase their coverage while strengthening the new district focus, expanding multisectoral work and making available antiretroviral treatment. In doing so, this study describes Mbeya's progress towards universal access and identifies ongoing challenges. Through its comprehensive, decentralized and multisectoral approaches and the continuing efforts of a variety of actors, the region appears to be in a better position to reach universal access than other parts of Tanzania and Africa in general. The experiences of the Mbeya region to date can serve as lessons learnt to other parts of the country and, more broadly, the continent. This publication is neither a scientific study nor an evaluation of the Regional Programme. It is an analytical description of HIV control activities in the region to date and their status to date. Its focus is mainly on access. The programmes presented here follow national and international recommendations. The quality of the individual programmes, however, has not been assessed for the purpose of this publication. (excerpt)
Studies in Family Planning. 2005 Dec; 36(4):311-315.Women in many countries are often denied vital family planning services if they are not menstruating when they present at clinics, for fear that they might be pregnant. A simple checklist based on criteria approved by the World Health Organization has been developed to help providers rule out pregnancy among such clients, but its use is not yet widespread. Researchers in Guatemala, Mali, and Senegal conducted operations research to determine whether a simple, replicable introduction of this checklist improved access to contraceptive services by reducing the proportion of clients denied services. From 2001 to 2003, sociodemographic and service data were collected from 4,823 women from 16 clinics in three countries. In each clinic, data were collected prior to introduction of the checklist and again three to six weeks after the intervention. Among new family planning clients, denial of the desired method due to menstrual status decreased significantly from 16 percent to 2 percent in Guatemala and from 11 percent to 6 percent in Senegal. Multivariate analyses and bivariate analyses of changes within subgroups of nonmenstruating clients confirmed and reinforced these statistically significant findings. In Mali, denial rates were essentially unchanged, but they were low from the start. Where denial of services to nonmenstruating family planning clients was a problem, introduction of the pregnancy checklist significantly reduced denial rates. This simple, inexpensive job aid improves women's access to essential family planning services. (author's)