Family planning and HIV services will soon be integrated for cost effective and better management.
This was revealed yesterday in a just concluded two-day workshop that brought together medical practitioners to study together how best these two services can be integrated.
According to Dr Gerald Ngendahimana, the country representative of Intra-Health International that organized the workshop, the integration of these services is timely and their benefits are apparent.
“We have been testing this in five health centres in Rulindo, Gicumbi and Nyagatare provinces. Both parties are praising this integration,” he said.
“Integration enables family planning and HIV service providers to reach more people with a broader range of services”.
He said clients accessing family planning services might also need HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services and through this integration, one will be able to access them all at a go.
Dr Denise Harrison, Chief of Party of the IntraHealth HCSP project, said service integration holds potential for helping couples, women and youth prevent unintended pregnancies and HIV infection.
Dr Anicet Nzabonimpa who is in charge of Family planning and HIV service integration in the Ministry of Health said despite benefits of the integration of services to both service providers and beneficiaries, it is also recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“WHO has recommended all UN member states to integrate these two services following its Washington summit in October 2008,” said Nzabonimpa.
According to the recommendations of the workshop, these services will be provided at all levels, from central to decentralized levels of health centres and to the community level.
MOH is charged with policy and guideline formulation and general organization including monitoring and evaluation.
Districts will be in charge of needs assessment, activity planning and staff development while hospitals and health centres will provide technical support and supervision as community health workers provide exclusive education and sensitization.
This two day workshop that commenced on 25th Feb had brought together, IntraHealth as the organizer, Ministry of Health, NGO’s development partners from USAID, UNFPA, directors of hospitals and heads of health centres.