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Quality of family planning services in HIV integrated and non-integrated health facilities in Malawi and Tanzania

by on July 22, 2019

Quality of family planning services in HIV integrated and non-integrated health facilities in Malawi and TanzaniaBackground: The integration of family planning (FP) and HIV-related services is common in sub-Saharan Africa. Little research has examined how FP quality of care differs between integrated and non-integrated facilities. Using nationally representative data from Malawi and Tanzania, we examined how HIV integration was associated with FP quality of care.

Methods: Data were drawn from Service Provision Assessments (SPAs) from Malawi (2013–2014) and Tanzania (2014–2015). The analytic sample was restricted to lower-level facilities in Malawi (n = 305) and Tanzania (n = 750) that offered FP services. We matched SPA measures to FP quality of care indicators in the Quick Investigation of Quality (QIQ). We conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses of 22 QIQ indicators to examine how integration status was related to individual QIQ indicators and overall FP quality of care at the facility- and client-level.

Results: The prevalence of HIV integration in Malawi (39%) and Tanzania (38%) was similar. Integration of HIV services was significantly associated (p < 0.05) with QIQ indicators in Malawi (n = 3) and Tanzania (n = 4). Except for one negative association in Tanzania, all other associations were positive. At the facility-level, HIV integration was associated with increased odds of being at or above the median in FP quality of care in Malawi (adjusted odd ratio (OR) = 2.24; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.32, 3.79) and Tanzania (adjusted OR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.37, 3.22). At the client-level, HIV integration was not associated with FP quality of care in either country.

Conclusion: Based on samples in Malawi and Tanzania, HIV integration appears to be beneficially associated with FP quality of care. Using a spectrum of FP quality of care indicators, we found little evidence to support concerns that HIV integration may strain facilities and providers, and adversely impact quality outcomes. Rather, it appears to strengthen FP service delivery by increasing the likelihood of stocked FP commodities and achievement of other facility-level quality indicators, potentially through HIV-related supply chains. Further research is needed to assess FP quality of care outcomes across the various platforms of FP integration found in sub-Saharan Africa.

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