By Phillis W. Njoroge
In Kenya 1.3-1.4 million people are living with HIV, 76,000-104,000 newly infected and 80,000 AIDS related deaths (WHO, UNAIDS and UNICEF, 2011). Retention of patients in HIV can be defined as continuous engagement from diagnosis in a package of prevention, treatment, support and care services (WHO, 2011).
Poor retention of patients in care is a major driver of poor programme performance and increased morbidity and mortality (WHO, 2011).Thika level 5 hospital is not an exceptional and hence there was need to develop a framework of monitoring and evaluating patient’s retention rate. The main objective of the project was to develop a tool to monitor the patients at each stage along the continuum. The activities included literature review on similar tools in other settings within and outside Kenya and drafting of the tool.
The tool was shared with stakeholders for their inputs in meetings. The tool was disseminated to the potential users by sharing with them how to administer and its importance. The hospital had their staff trained on how to monitor and evaluate retention rates and they were able to effectively use the skill. The tool was expected to be extended to other projects/departments in the hospital.