The hard work of the Manzini Regional Health Management Team (RHMT) won acclaim at the recent National HIV/AIDS Semi-Annual Review meeting (NaHSAR) in October.

Manzini came in first for laboratory quality management systems for both main and mini laboratory categories, and was named best performing region overall out of the four regions.

ICAP in Swaziland supports the RHMT and health facilities in Manzini through the work of mentors and technical advisors, who had the chance to join in celebrating this great success. The award included a cash prize to support the programs in Manzini, presented by country director Ruben Sahabo, MD.

“The Manzini team went above and beyond in their achievements these past two quarters, and they are truly an example of excellence in the field of TB/HIV programs,” Sahabo said.

ICAP originally pioneered the NaHSAR in 2009 as a quality assurance method for the HIVcare and treatment program. Since 2015, the Ministry of Health in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been responsible for providing oversight in the planning and coordination of NaHSAR activities.

The October 2017 meeting, marking the end of the 16th program cycle, was conducted to review key indicators selected to measure performance of HIV/TB programs in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

Manzini’s selection as best performing region was based on the standard of care achieved on the cascades for child welfare, labor and delivery, antenatal care, preART, ART, and TB/HIV as averaged and compared with the performance of other regions. Specifically, Manzini outperformed other regions on testing active TB cases for HIV, initiating ART in TB/HIV coinfected cases, monitoring TB treatment, and achieving favorable TB treatment outcomes.

In laboratory performance, the awards were based on the February 2017 audit results using the World Health Organization Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) Checklist. Main laboratories were judged on all 12 checklist criteria, and mini laboratories (so called because they perform more limited number of on-site laboratory tests) were judged on a modified checklist of eight items including documents and records, process control, and identification of nonconformities, corrective action, and preventative measures.

“Over the years, the NaHSAR initiative has contributed enormously to the progressive improvement of the HIV/TB program in the country,” Sahabo said. “Recognizing teams for their remarkable achievements is essential for staff self-motivation and keeping the momentum to achieve more, and it is a great opportunity to learn from each other in order to replicate innovative ideas and best practices for continued program improvement.”

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