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Enhancing HIV Surveillance Systems in Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan, approximately 19,000 people are living with HIV and only about a quarter of those infected are receiving HIV treatment. To better serve this population, the Ministry of Health in Kazakhstan embarked on the implementation of a confidential electronic system to track HIV cases. By developing this system, the Ministry aims to provide easier access to information needed to improve the quality of HIV services.
Over the past year, ICAP has worked closely with the Republican AIDS Center in Kazakhstan to support the development, improvement, and scale up of the Electronic HIV Case Management System—the electronic information system that is used to collect and disseminate epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical data about all registered HIV cases in the country.
Officially approved by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Heath in March 2012, the national rollout of the Electronic HIV Case Management System replaces paper-based data collection and reporting systems previous used by HIV/AIDS centers (government facilities that provide HIV services) throughout Kazakhstan.
Dr. Sairankul Kasymbekova from the Republican AIDS Center, the Ministry of Health entity that oversee the provision of HIV services, has already found the new system beneficial. “This system helps to ensure better management of HIV patients, including planning and management of their visits and routine screenings, such as TB screening and treatment monitoring.”
In preparation for the launch, ICAP led training and mentoring sessions for nearly 60 staff members at AIDS centers in Kazakhstan, to ensure that staff were familiar with the new system and its automated reporting functions. Future trainings will be held to support clinical staff at local AIDS centers to use the electronic system to monitor patient care.
The Electronic HIV Case Management System also allows for in-depth evaluation of HIV treatment and care programs in Kazakhstan. “Its features allow prompt and easy generation of different HIV care and treatment reports with information on various indicators, which allows us to adapt the work of clinical departments in order to improve quality of HIV services,” explained Dr. Kasymbekova.
ICAP is continuing to support future developments of the Electronic HIV Case Management System, and will use lessons learned from the nationwide rollout to inform future expansion of the use of the database as it is launched in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.