MPhil study projects

Exploring the effects of community ART distribution points model on stable patients’ accessibility to HIV treatment in Ndola district, Zambia

Student: Luboya Betukumesu

Country: Dahomey

The 2020 global Aids update revealed that approximately 26 million individuals across all age groups were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection, with the majority in Sub-Saharan Africa. The rapid increase in ART uptake followed the implementation of the Test and Treat policy in 2013, advising initiation of ART regardless of CD4 count. Challenges such as limited healthcare resources and personnel in Sub-Saharan Africa however hindered ART.

To address these barriers, innovative solutions like the Community ART Distribution Point (CADP) model were introduced. In Zambia, Equip Health Zambia, with USAID support, piloted CADP in the Ndola district and other provinces, later to be adopted nationwide by the Ministry of Health. This study aimed to assess stable patients’ and healthcare providers’ perceptions of CADP’s convenience and its impact on ART accessibility in Ndola, Zambia.

The study concluded that CADP improved ART accessibility by addressing existing barriers. Sustainability however remained a concern due to reliance on external support. Recommendations included national implementation of CADP by the Ministry of Health and leveraging existing public health resources and community involvement for sustainability.