Assessment of Tanzania’s District-Level HIV Referral Systems: Linking Communities and Facilities


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Author(s): Cristina de la Torre, Charles Mushi, Marylad Ntiro, Allison Schmale, Charles Matiko, Willis Odek

Year: 2018

Assessment of Tanzania’s District-Level HIV Referral Systems: Linking Communities and Facilities Abstract:

Health systems are increasingly relying on community-based organizations (CBOs) and community workers to provide care and support services to individuals affected by HIV and AIDS. Community health workers can deliver a range of services to improve clients’ well-being, provide direct care and treatment, and give support throughout the continuum of care. Additionally, community workers often identify clients in need of services and track them to return them to care.

Strong linkages between community and health facility providers help clients obtain the critical services they need in a timely fashion. Referral systems are an important mechanism for creating strong linkages. Referrals facilitate moving clients through the health care system and exchanging health information between providers. A good referral system helps clients gain access to services, encourages clients to seek care and support, and can also help providers track the services that clients receive and then follow up on client health care needs.

In Tanzania, various national HIV guidelines call for strong referral systems between the community and clinical services to ensure patients receive adequate health care at all levels. To assess the status of referral systems, MEASURE Evaluation conducted an assessment from February to April 2016 in three districts in Tanzania: Kinondoni, Kyela, and Waging’ombe.

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