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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
3444.0: Monday, November 05, 2007 - 8:30 PM

Abstract #157134

Role of advocacy in implementing and sustaining infection prevention and injection safety programs in Zambia

Christopher Mazimba1, Richard Hughes2, Kuhu Maitra, MBBS, DCH, MD3, Martha Ndhlovu, MCUR4, Stephen Chanda1, Answell Chipukuma5, and Matildah Zyambo5. (1) JHPIEGO Country Office, Zambia Medical Injection Safety Project, 8 Ngumbo Road, Long Acres, Lusaka, Zambia, 260-1-256-256, nvohra@chemonics.com, (2) Zambia Country Office, JHPIEGO Corporation, 1615 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, (3) International Health Group, Chemonics International, 1717 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006, (4) IP Technical Advisor, P.O Box 36873, 8 Ngumbo Road, Longacres, Lusaka, Zambia, (5) Medical Injection Safety Project, JHPIEGO Zambia Country Office, PO Box 36873, Lusaka, Zambia

Background: In Zambia medical transmission of HIV via unsafe and unnecessary injections is preventable through implementation of sustainable infection prevention and injection safety (IP/IS) programs. Limited resources within the health sector for IP/IS programs make it difficult to significantly reduce the medical transmission of HIV. To boost resources for IP/IS programs, the Zambia Medical Injection Safety Project (MISP) has implemented an advocacy strategy targeting district, provincial, and national levels.

Methodology: MISP's advocacy strategy was created in collaboration with the MOH and other stakeholders and activities have been implemented in 36 districts. Advocacy orientation workshops with provincial, district, and facility healthcare managers were held where National IP guidelines and other guidelines related to safe IP/IS were distributed. During the workshops MISP lobbied healthcare managers to promote IP/IS activities such as training healthcare workers in IP/IS best practices and conducting IP/IS commodity management and procurement assessments. Additionally, the National Infection Prevention Working Group was strengthened through increased membership and it is now a leader in IP/IS advocacy efforts. To assess the IP/IS advocacy activities MISP conducted a process evaluation and analyzed inputs and outputs at the district, provincial, and national levels using records, checklists, and observations.

Major Results: Establishment of a memorandum of understanding with the MOH stating their commitment for stronger IP/IS programs. As such, the MOH now covers the cost of storing and distributing IP/IS commodities to district healthcare facilities. Zambia's health minister launched the National IP/IS Strategic Plan, which has been incorporated into the National Health Strategic Plan, 2006-2010. MOH policy makers have begun to articulate the importance of IP/IS programs in national and international forums. Ninety percent of the 36 districts have established IP/IS committees and appointed a focal person to lead IP/IS activities in the district. Over half of the districts followed-up to date have included IP/IS activities in their annual action plans and budgets.

Recommendations: Ensuring a purposeful advocacy strategy within the context of a service delivery technical assistance project can deliver significant benefits at national and local level. This is especially critical and relevant in respect to the project's long-term impact, adoption, and ultimate sustainability of technical and material investments.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this session, participants will be able to

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

HIV/AIDS: Infection Prevention and Quality Assurance Strategies in Southern Africa

The 135th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 3-7, 2007) of APHA