The Center for Health System Strengthening (CfHSS) in collaboration with the Institute de Recherche’ en Sante’ de Surveillance Epide’miologique et Formation / Cheikh Anta Diop University (IRESSEF/CADU), African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and support of the US Centers for Disease Control (US, CDC) has completed the second phase of a programme aimed at building capacity in the area of HIV Rapid Testing and Continuous Quality Improvement (RT-CQI).
The programme was organised at Splendor Hotel in Kumasi from 15th–20th October, 2018 for 20 participants from Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Brong Ahafo Regions. The objective of the programme was to train HIV Rapid Testing Quality Auditors/Mentors to conduct baseline assessment using the Stepwise Process for Improving the Quality of HIV Rapid Testing checklist and provide corrective action support to poorly performing sites.
The programme consisted of three days of didactic classroom sessions, group activities and homework assignments, and two days of field practical which consisted of mock site audits, data analysis and report writing.
A total of 23 facilities within the Ashanti Region were selected for the exercise. Altogether, a total of 40 testing points were audited (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Map showing the location of all audited sites within the Kumasi Metropolis
These testing points consisted of 6 Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)/HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) Centre, 1 Provider Initiated Testing and Counselling (PITC) Centre, 16 Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Centres, 14 laboratories, 1 DOT Centre and 1 Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Centre. Majority of testing points scored within level 0-2 (average score: 49% or level 1) Figure 2.
Figure 2: Distribution of Site level after audits
Major deficiencies observed during the audit were in the areas of the testing phase, poor documentation and EQA whereas, the best practices observed were primarily in physical facility and safety. Areas of improvement remain in safety, personnel training, and documentation throughout the testing procedure. Since HIV testing is the entry point to the HIV care and treatment cascade, there is the need for a focused attention on HIV rapid testing to improve its quality as Ghana implements the WHO treat all policy.
We wish to thank GHS, CDC, IRESSEF, AHPC, NACP, all the mock audit facilities, workshop facilitators and participants for making this workshop a great success.
Training Facilitators in a Discussion
Dr. Michael Owusu and Mr. Bernard Nkrumah addressing the participants