Service: Technical Assistance
Technical Expertise: HIV
AIDSTAR Plus strengthened the ability of the Honduran Ministry of Health (MOH) to operationalize the country’s National Strategy for Comprehensive Care of STI/HIV/AIDS at both the central and regional levels. Launched in 2011, the Strategy sets out a comprehensive approach, at all levels of care, for preventing and treating sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and opportunistic infections (OIs), within the context of health sector reform and the country's health plan and vision for 2010-2014.
While the Strategy had been praised widely for the strength of its approach, the MOH needed assistance in helping regional health teams (and central level staff) understand how to make it operational. AIDSTAR Plus responded by providing targeted technical assistance to MOH employees at both central and regional levels to put the Strategy into action.
AIDSTAR Plus worked with five health regions (Cortes, Atlantida, Bay Islands, Metropolitan Central District, and Metropolitan San Pedro Sula) which were prioritized to start implementing the Strategy under a pilot program.
Technical assistance from AIDSTAR Plus helped the regional health teams develop a set of norms, procedures, and guidelines to operationalize the Strategy and thereby improve the quality, coverage, and cost effectiveness of STI/HIV/AIDS services.
The MOH teams who received technical assistance from AIDSTAR Plus (at both the central and regional levels) felt prepared to continue implementing the Strategy on their own and were motivated and prepared to help the remaining regional health teams operationalize the Strategy in their areas.
Additional project achievements include:
• Strengthened stewardship capacity of the MOH : Together, AIDSTAR Plus and the MOH created more than 30 tools and guidelines for MOH staff and program managers including STI norms, HIV norms, and procedures manuals for the detection and care of STIs.
• Improved quality, coverage, and cost-effectiveness of HIV and STI services : AIDSTAR Plus assisted in developing quality improvement plans and implementing supportive supervision. Coverage was improved by helping regional health teams map out all STI/HIV/AIDS services in their area into a seamless network of services, complete with a working referral system. Cost effectiveness was achieved with the creation of a practical tool that correctly calculates the costs of services within a network.
• Fulfilled regional pilot implementation plan objectives : AIDSTAR Plus supported the MOH in mapping and creating functional integrated referral networks that ensure clients receive seamless services along the full continuum of STI/HIV/AIDS care. The costs of services tool allows regional health teams and providers to now determine service costs and thus more effectively plan and spend their budgets.
• Sustained knowledge transfer of clinical practices : AIDSTAR Plus developed six training curricula for training of trainers and training of providers which cover important technical areas. In total, 237 national and regional trainers and 1,300 providers were trained using these curricula.