Haitians Work Together to Fight HIV and TB

  • Published Date: August 2017
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According to the World Health Organization, people living with HIV are 26 to 31 times more likely to develop tuberculosis (TB) than those without HIV ; when this happens, each disease accelerates the progress of the other. That’s why, in 2005, Haiti’s Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP) established a Unité de Coordination des Programmes (UCP) to better coordinate the national programs for HIV and TB, as well as malaria. After ten years, however, efforts to integrate HIV and TB services were at a standstill: each program’s staff worked in its own silo, to implement its own separate strategies.

In 2015, the UCP asked the USAID-funded Leadership, Management and Governance project (LMG/Haiti)—which has worked hand-in-hand with the MSPP since 2012 to generate inspired leadership, sound management, and transparent governance for stronger health teams, services, organizations, and healthier Haitians—to help it resolve this challenge and improve program coordination. LMG/Haiti provided continuous financial and technical support to strengthen leadership and management in the UCP and the HIV and TB programs, teaching staff members to collaborate through the Plan, Implement, Monitor, Supervise, and Evaluate project management approach and regular meetings to jointly review activities and performance indicators, raise problems, and brainstorm solutions. Together, they developed collaborative tools to improve joint management of HIV and TB activities.

Two years later, the changes are remarkable. A joint supervision tool developed by the HIV and TB programs has been used in 23 joint site visits. Combined HIV/TB units have been created at the central level and in each of the Haiti’s ten departments. And in May 2017, LMG/Haiti supported Haiti’s first-ever national HIV/TB workshop, at which 69 participants from MSPP central staff, departmental HIV and TB program and monitoring and evaluation managers, and representatives from USAID, Equip Health, and Services de Santé de Qualité pour Haiti (SSQH)/Jhpiego came together to evaluate HIV/TB co-infection interventions, adopt joint approaches to improve program performance, agree on indicators to better monitor progress, and ultimately provide better services to Haiti’s population.

“Thanks to LMG/Haiti and this workshop, we now have a better idea of HIV/TB coordination challenges faced at the departmental level, and we can better assess our strengths and weaknesses,” said Anèse Joseph, of the office of the UCP’s Executive Director. "We look forward to the next national HIV/TB workshop, where we will review the performance achieved by working together to implement the joint departmental workplans." With the support of LMG/Haiti and USAID, Haiti is now well positioned to effectively address the challenge of HIV/TB co-infection and improve the health of people at risk for both diseases.