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Open Access Research article

How HIV/AIDS scale-up has impacted on non- HIV priority services in Zambia

Ruairí Brugha13*, Joseph Simbaya2, Aisling Walsh1, Patrick Dicker1 and Phillimon Ndubani2

Author Affiliations

1 Departmemt of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine, Division of Population Health Sciences Division, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

2 Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

3 Department of Global Health Development, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:540  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-540

Published: 8 September 2010

Abstract

Background

Much of the debate as to whether or not the scaling up of HIV service delivery in Africa benefits non-HIV priority services has focused on the use of nationally aggregated data. This paper analyses and presents routine health facility record data to show trend correlations across priority services.

Methods

Review of district office and health facility client records for 39 health facilities in three districts of Zambia, covering four consecutive years (2004-07). Intra-facility analyses were conducted, service and coverage trends assessed and rank correlations between services measured to compare service trends within facilities.

Results

VCT, ART and PMTCT client numbers and coverage levels increased rapidly. There were some strong positive correlations in trends within facilities between reproductive health services (family planning and antenatal care) and ART and PMTCT, with Spearman rank correlations ranging from 0.33 to 0.83. Childhood immunisation coverage also increased. Stock-outs of important drugs for non-HIV priority services were significantly more frequent than were stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs.

Conclusions

The analysis shows scale-up in reproductive health service numbers in the same facilities where HIV services were scaling up. While district childhood immunisations increased overall, this did not necessarily occur in facility catchment areas where HIV service scale-up occurred. The paper demonstrates an approach for comparing correlation trends across different services, using routine health facility information. Larger samples and explanatory studies are needed to understand the client, facility and health systems factors that contribute to positive and negative synergies between priority services.