A Participatory Approach to Improving Retention in HIV Treatment and Care for Newly Diagnosed Patients in a Secondary Health Facility in Sierra LeoneWole Ameyan*, Hannah Kamara, Jaicy Sesay, Mariama Sheriff, Khadija Dumbuya, Mabinty Timbo, Sulaiman Conteh and Etienne Guillard
Solthis, Sierra Leone
- *Corresponding Author:
- Wole Ameyan
Medical Coordinator, Solthis
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: March 24, 2017; Accepted date: April 15, 2017; Published date: April 22, 2017
Citation: Ameyan W, Kamara H, Sesay J, Sheriff M, Dumbuya K, et al. (2017) A Participatory Approach to Improving Retention in HIV Treatment and Care for Newly Diagnosed Patients in a Secondary Health Facility in Sierra Leone. J AIDS Clin Res 8:686. doi:10.4172/2155-6113.1000686
Copyright: © 2017 Ameyan W, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The bottom line for any successful HIV program is adherence to therapy and retention in care with the subsequent benefit of achieving undetectable viral levels. Research has shown that poor retention in care for HIV infection has a negative impact on survival and health outcomes. This study aimed to improve retention in care at a secondary health in Freetown, Sierra Leone through a participatory approach that involved health workers and support groups. Our interventions included implementing a participatory needs assessment, reorganising the patient flow, improving communication between health workers and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), trainings and capacity building and improving the content of support group meetings. The baseline period was from June 2012 to June 2013 while the post intervention period was from June 2013 to June 2014. At baseline, a total of 47 patients were newly diagnosed out of which 19 were male and 28 were female. The median age was 32. Twenty were single, 18 married, 7 widowed and one divorced with one confirmed dead. In all, 15 were retained in care while 31 were lost to follow up. Our baseline retention was therefore 33%. Post intervention, a total of 54 patients was newly diagnosed out of which 48 were female and six were male. The median age was 29. Twenty were single, 27 married and 7 widowed. Eleven were confirmed dead and 1 asked to be transferred to a nearby facility due to reasons of distance. Thirty nine were retained in care while three were lost to follow up. Our baseline retention was therefore 93%. The results therefore showed that retention in care improved from 33% to 93% over a 6 month period. We conclude that while there are generic interventions that could be applied at program level to improve retention in care, interventions need to be context specific and fully participatory to cater to the multi-pronged yet unique peculiarities of every setting.