Integrating HIV/AIDS into Maternal and Child Health Platform: African Countries Making Limited Progress
Rose N. Oronje, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
Martin H. Atela, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
Violet Murunga, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
Abiba Longwe-Ngwira, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) and Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Although research shows that integrating HIV/AIDS services into the widely used maternal and child health (MCH) services can expand access to HIV/AIDS services and strengthen the often weak MCH platform in poor countries, many African countries have made limited progress in enabling integration. This study was conducted in four countries –Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia– to examine HIV/AIDS and MCH integration efforts. Data collection involved document review, policy audits and key informant interviews. Findings revealed limited country progress in enabling HIV/AIDS and MCH integration. At policy level, only Tanzania has developed guidelines for HIV/AIDS and MCH integration. At system level, the study confirmed the well-documented system challenges which inhibit integration, including: vertical planning mechanisms within government, inadequate funding, insufficient and inadequately-skilled healthcare workers, and weak supply chain. Findings demonstrate need for concerted efforts by governments and partners to support and enable HIV/AIDS and MCH integration.