The impact of strengthening referral and linkage to care through the CaSIPO Project

One of the main objectives of the 5-year project has been to strengthen referral and linkage to care of stable patients attending community-based adherence clubs. The stats have been encouraging. During the last quarter (Jan – April), CaSIPO provided a total of 146 mentorship sessions to 126 CBOs who actively referred patients to clinics for further management. Patients were referred following nutritional assessment, STI and TB screenings.

  • Only five of the 29,078 patients assessed for nutrition were classified in the undernutrition category (two in Alfred Nzo and three in Mopani). All five patients were referred to the clinic and then successfully linked to care.
  • Only seven of the 31,483 patients screened for STI responded positively to one question (one in Alfred Nzo, four in King Cetshwayo and two in Ehlanzeni). All seven patients were referred to the clinic and then successfully linked to care.
  • Only seven of the 23,994 patients screened for TB were identified as suspect (seven in Alfred Nzo). All seven patients were referred to the clinic and six were successfully linked to care.

As the project comes to an end this year a lot of emphasis has been placed on the transitioning of the community-based adherence clubs. In this 5th and last year of funding (2018), the project has placed focus on ensuring the safe and sustainable transitioning of community adherence clubs to maintain the high quality of services and retention in care that has been made possible by the CaSIPO Project.

The CaSIPO Project through the year will make sure that adequate planning takes place so that all the hard work done will not go to waste, and we will do this by making sure we involve all stakeholders and guidance from the district is an essential aspect to ensure a smooth transition of community clubs.

During the quarter, CaSIPO District Teams requested a meeting with District officials (HAST and PHC) and DSPs to finalise the District Transition Plan for the transitioning of adherence clubs in the District, including training and technical assistance needed to bridge potential gaps and enable the transitioning. A detailed situation analysis of the adherence clubs per clinic were to be presented during the meeting. The District Transition planning meeting would then be followed by Sub-District planning meetings to operationalise the transition plans with the involvement of Facility Managers and CBOs.

By the end of March 2018, District Transition meetings had been held in Thabo Mofutsanyane, Tshwane, King Cetshwayo and Gert Sibande. The meetings for the remaining Districts have been planned for April 2018, except JHD and Sedibeng which will take place in May 2018. In Tshwane, the District requested that ACs be transitioned to Lay Counsellors instead of WBOTs. The training plans for AC Facilitation training have been adjusted accordingly. The Transition Meetings were well received and CaSIPO ‘s proactive approach was welcomed by the Districts who committed to work with CaSIPO on implementing the transition plan.

Very positive news!