An estimated 280,000 people in Myanmar live with HIV, and 208,480 (74%) are on antiretroviral therapy treatment (ART). For Myanmar’s National AIDS Program, the plan is to increase the number of people with access to HIV medication by 16% by the end of 2025, bringing ART coverage to 90%. To help the country’s concerted efforts in reaching this goal, ICAP in Myanmar has supported the development of a mobile application. The app “HIV Clinical Job Aids” is for HIV health care providers to effectively provide HIV testing, care, and treatment services for recipients of HIV care.
“The country is keen on reaching its UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals by 2030, but progress has been gradual,” said Khin Nyein Chan, MBBS, MScPH, ICAP’s country director in Myanmar. “We’ve been closely collaborating with the National AIDS Program to design innovative ways of reaching and treating people living with HIV. The ICAP-supported app, the digital version of the “Guidelines for the Clinical Management of HIV Infection in Myanmar 5th Edition, 2017” and “Amendment to Guidelines for the Clinical Management of HIV Infection in Myanmar, 2018,” is for health care providers to have the HIV treatment guidelines at their fingertips to promote more efficient and effective HIV service delivery.”
The user-friendly all-in-one app includes a variety of resources, literature, and checklists such as an HIV testing algorithm, ARTs, and their side effects and treatment failure. There are also resources for laboratory monitoring for recipients of care on ART, how to collect and transport lab samples at an HIV facility, an overview of TB screening, TB preventive treatment, and diagnosing TB in people living with HIV. The app also contains clinical checklists for seeing clients who are stable on ART, algorithms for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), and early infant diagnosis of HIV. In addition, the app has an offline version for when clinicians do not have internet access, eliminating the need for health care providers to carry paper-based documents and facilitating convenient access to critical information.
Thandar, MBBS (Ygn), M. Med Sc, a physician from Yangon who has been using the app for six months, finds the app offers indispensable guidance and information on managing HIV. “I rely on its features during patient consultations throughout my workday. It’s like having a dedicated expert right in my pocket, leading me through each step with precision, thus ensuring the best care for my HIV patients,” she said.
A major global health organization that has been improving public health in countries around the world for two decades, ICAP works to transform the health of populations through innovation, science, and global collaboration. Based at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, ICAP has projects in more than 40 countries, working side-by-side with ministries of health and local governmental, non-governmental, academic, and community partners to confront some of the world’s greatest health challenges. Through evidence-informed programs, meaningful research, tailored technical assistance, effective training and education programs, and rigorous surveillance to measure and evaluate the impact of public health interventions, ICAP aims to realize a global vision of healthy people, empowered communities, and thriving societies. Online at icap.columbia.edu