MPhil study projects

The effects of decentralising antiretroviral treatment services on retention in care in the Kavango-East region, Namibia: A retrospective study, 2017-2020

Student: Hilma Nambili Nakambale

Country: Namibia

Over the past three decades, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MHoSS) and health stakeholders have steadfastly battled HIV/Aids in Namibia. To enhance antiretroviral treatment (ART) services and bolster retention in care, the decentralisation of ART services via nurse initiated and management of antiretroviral therapy (NIMART) programmes has been implemented. This study aimed to assess the impact of NIMART initiatives on retention in care and to delve into data reporting dynamics.

Quantitative data was gathered from 23 government-owned health facilities (NIMART sites) in Namibia’s Kavango-East region. These facilities provided ART services and routinely recorded service indicators. Lost to follow-up (LTFU) data, indicative of retention in care, was the focal point.

Despite limitations in data comparison due to missing information from NIMART sites, positive trends in LTFU were observed. Addressing data recording disparities between the electronic dispensing tool (eDT) and the electronic patient management system (ePMS) was crucial, emphasising the necessity for enhanced training of NIMART facility providers.