24 November 2015

Jhpiego's work in Tanzania highlighted in United Nations World AIDS Day Book

Today is World Aids Day and this is a piece of work which we introduced in Tanzania within the ICT4D which works under me and is led by Alice T. Liu.
Reaching men in rural areas of the United Republic of Tanzania through mapping In 2010, the regions of the United Republic of Tanzania now known as Iringa and Njombe had some of the lowest circumcision prevalence (29%) and the highest HIV prevalence (approximately 16%) in the country (6). Circumcision was only offered within health facilities on scheduled days. Men in rural areas, where demand was high, could not access these services and it was quickly realized that a new approach was required to meet the 2015 targets for the region (7). In 2012, mobile and campaign services were strategically implemented in rural areas with the aid of a geographic information system (GIS). Service coverage, HIV prevalence, demographic and facility data were geospatially mapped and overlaid, revealing underserved populations (7).
Open-source database software and Google Maps were used to update the maps regularly and link geocoded information, including project monitoring data, road conditions, infrastructure and facility resources. Outreach teams were able to identify low-performing sites quickly and focus on service provision in that area. Road condition information facilitated decision-making on when and where to deliver outreach services (7).
The proportion of circumcisions performed in rural versus urban areas radically changed after the outreach campaigns were initiated. In 2011, similar proportions of circumcisions had been performed in urban (52%) and rural (48%) areas; by 2012, the proportion of circumcisions in rural areas increased to 88%, reaching 93% in 2014. By 2014, 267 917 men had been circumcised in Iringa and Njombe,with 259 144 of them aged 10–34 years. This meant that 98% of the target for the two regions was met (7).
The success of the strategy demonstrates how GIS-aided geographical focusing can optimize service delivery and stimulate Fast-Track scale.