Delivery of integrated infectious disease control services under the new antenatal care guidelines: a service availability and readiness assessment of health facilities in Tanzania.
Odjidja, Emmanuel Nene; orcid: 0000-0003-3502-5120; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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BMC health services research, volume 19, issue 1, page 153
Tanzania remains among the countries with the highest burden of infectious diseases (notably HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis) during pregnancy. In response, the country adopted World Health Organization's (WHO) latest antenatal care (ANC) guidelines which recommend comprehensive services including diagnostic screening and treatment for pregnant women during antenatal. However, as Tanzania makes efforts to scale up these services under the existing health system resources, it is crucial to understand its capacity to deliver these services in an integrated fashion. Using the WHO's service availability and readiness assessment(SARA) framework, this study assesses the capacity of the Tanzanian Health System to provide integrated Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV services. Composite indicators of the five components of integration were constructed from primary datasets of the Tanzanian Service Provision Assessments (SPA) under the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) programs. Chi-squared analysis, T test and ANOVA were conducted to determine the associations of each of the defined components and background characteristics of facilities/health workers. A logistic regression model was further used to explore strength of relationships between availability of service readiness components and a pregnant women's receipt of HIV, Malaria and TB services by reporting adjusted odds ratios. Generally, capacity to integrate malaria services was significantly higher (72.3 95% CI 70.3-74.4 p = 0.02) compared to Tuberculosis (48.9 95% CI 48.4-50.7) and HIV (54.8 95% CI 53.1-56.9) services. Diagnostic capacity was generally higher than treatment commodities. Regarding the components of SARA integration, logistic regression found that the adjusted odds ratio of having all five components of integration and receiving integrated care was 1.9 (95% CI 0.8-2.7). Among these components, the strongest determinant (predictor) to pregnant women's receipt of integrated care was having trained staff on site (AOR 2.6 95% CI 0.6-4.5). Toward a successful integration of these services under the new WHO guidelines in Tanzania, efforts should be channelled into strengthening infectious disease care especially HIV and TB. Channelling investments into training of health workers (the strongest determinant to integrated care) is likely to result in positive outcomes for the pregnant woman and unborn child.