This is why integrating HIV services into maternal and child health, family planning, and tuberculosis services is key, and IntraHealth International worked to do just that through the USAID HIV Clinical Services Technical Assistance Project (UTAP).
In partnership with the government of Namibia, IntraHealth:
Enhanced health workers’ abilities to deliver high-quality HIV services.
Improved integrated HIV care and treatment services.
Built the capacities of local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and public-sector facilities to deliver high-quality integrated HIV services in Namibia.
The Namibia National Strategy aimed to reduce new infections and AIDS-related deaths by 50% each by 2017 so IntraHealth’s UTAP focused on regions with the highest HIV prevalence rates: Kavango, Khomas, Ohangwena, Omusati, and Oshikoto.
Using IntraHealth International’s signature Optimizing Performance and Quality (OPQ) approach, the project worked with health workers and officials to identify and address gaps in service delivery and administrative performance.
Through peer support and positive mentoring, IntraHealth worked closely with district health officials to proactively address health workers’ attitudes and any practices—such as disrespect and abuse of pregnant women—that may diminish quality of care and prevent women from seeking health care.
IntraHealth helped health workers in Namibia become more aware of the many stumbling blocks that can prevent clients from getting the care they need—including gender inequality, HIV status, and religious barriers, to name a few—and learn to provide care in a way that is sensitive to those challenges.
Health workers also learned to recognize victims of gender-based violence and to address the issue in the services and referrals they provide.