Obstacles to the coordination of delivering integrated prenatal HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B testing services in Guangdong: Using a needs assessment approach
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Background: Integration of services for Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) into routine maternal and child health care is promoted as a priority strategy by the WHO to facilitate the implementation of PMTCT. Integration of services emphasizes inter-sectoral coordination in the health systems to provide convenient services for clients. China has been integrating prenatal HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B testing services since 2009. However, as the individual health systems are complex, effective coordination among different health agencies is challenging. Few studies have examined the factors that affect the coordination of such complex systems. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of and examine challenges for integrated service delivery. Findings will provide the basis for strategy development to enhance the effective delivery of integrated services. Methods: The research was conducted in Guangdong province in 2013 using a needs assessment approach that includes qualitative and quantitative methods. Quantitative data was collected through a survey and from routine monitoring for PMTCT and qualitative data was collected through stakeholder interviews. Results: Routine monitoring data used to assess key indicators of coordination suggested numerous coordination problems. The rates of prenatal HIV (95%), syphilis (47%) and hepatitis B (47%) test were inconsistent. An average of only 20% of the HIV positive mothers was referred in the health systems. There were no regular meetings among different health agencies and the clients indicated complicated service processes. The major obstacles to the coordination of delivering these integrated services are lack of service resource integration; and lack of a mechanism for coordination of the health systems, with no uniform guidelines, clear roles or consistent evaluation. Conclusions: The key obstacles that have been identified in this study hinder the coordination of the delivery of integrated services. Our recommendations include: 1) Facilitate integration of the funding and information systems by fully combining the service resources of different health agencies into one unit; 2) Establish regular meetings to facilitate exchange of information and address problems; 3) Establish a client referral network between different health agencies with agreed guidelines, clear roles and consistent evaluation.
BMC Health Services Research
© Xia et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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