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A forum on integrated service delivery modules, on how to improve efficiency and continuity in care and treatment of HIV positive mothers and their children was also held. This was in the context of working to make accessible, lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant and breastfeeding women, living with HIV. This took place during the 17th ICASA conference in Cape Town.
Dr. Godfrey Osmu, a representative from the Ministry of Health in Uganda said some innovative measures Uganda has taken to ensure good service delivery for HIV positive mothers is to use mobile phones as reminders for mothers to honor their doctor’s appointments. They also engage the male partners of the mothers in seminars in sensitizing them about AIDS. Up to date data and registers are kept in monitoring the women and their health status. He said this has led to an increased utilization of services being rendered to the women.
Rejoice Nambule a representative from the ministry of health in Zambia mentioned that service delivery workers are over burdened and that is a challenge. According to her socio-cultural issues also have an impact on service delivery for mothers living with HIV/AIDS. She spoke of some innovative measures being taken such as the involvement of traditional leaders in the fight against HV/AIDS. According to her the efficiency and continuity of health care has seen some improvement.
Chinyere Omeogu, the managing director of the interagency task team elaborated on the need to have continuity structures as an integral component in the reaching of zero tolerance, zero infection and zero deaths. She said some common challenges being faced by some African countries are political issues in the area of weak decentralization, lack of coordination and donor funding. Service delivery was also hinted on as another challenge in terms of its accessibility. Madam Chinyere said though Ghana, Lesotho and Tanzania are making strides, more innovative measures, need to be taken in addressing issues of HIV/AIDS in those countries.