Project Mwana: Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) of HIV Infection

Project Description

In mid-2010, in collaboration with MOH and other partners (UNICEF, CHAI, FHI/ZPCT II), ZCAHRD launched a pilot SMS results system for 10 facilities in two Southern Province districts (Mazabuka and Monze).  This system is designed to help diminish the lengthy turn-around times for DNA PCR samples drawn on exposed infants at health facilities, transported to regional hubs and then to national laboratories where the samples are run, and then carried back by courier to the facilities for the results to be communicated with mothers/caregivers of exposed infants. Prior to the pilot, the average time from sample collection to results returning to the facilities in Southern Province was approximately 60 days (BUPIP data). This time interval was inadequate for the critical early intervention needed because of rapid infant disease progression.

Following the success of the pilot program, ZCAHRD expanded the SMS pilot in mid-2011 by adding the RemindMi package at the 10 pilot sites in Southern Province. RemindMi is a community based program created to help trace caregivers in the community for postnatal follow-ups. SMS messages are sent to community based agents who seek out caregivers and infants and ask them to return to the clinic for 6 day, 6 week and 6 month post-natal check-ups or special circumstances, such as test results arriving at the facility.

Based on the excellent results from the pilot program, MOH requested that partners begin scale-up of Results160 and RemindMi. In the third quarter of 2011, 31 PMTCT sites in Kalomo District were visited and assessed for scale-up.  In October 2011, all 31 sites received Programme Mwana training making ZCAHRD the first partner to begin the scale-up process.  On 17 November 2011, the Permanent Secretary of MOH hosted a National Scale-up Launch event at which ZCAHRD presented on the process, successes and challenges of scaling in Kalomo District.

Project Details

Principal Investigator Donald M. Thea
Boston University Co-Investigators Godfrey Biemba, Kaluba Mataka, Chris GillEmily Hammond, Corrie Haley
Country(ies) Zambia
Dates of Activity 2006–2014