District Health System Strengthening and Quality Improvement for Service Delivery in Malawi

Project Overview

The District Health System Strengthening and Quality Improvement for Service Delivery (DHSS) project (2012-2018) supported the Government of Malawi in implementing the National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS in line with the Country Operational Plan. DHSS leveraged US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) resources and supported the implementation of the Health Sector Strategic Plan through its work in seven districts of Malawi: Nkhata Bay, Likoma, Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mwanza, and Neno.

Funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), the project contributed to a healthy and prosperous nation free from HIV and AIDS. It focused on district strengthening and key populations, using targeted evaluation, and providing technical support to the Ministry of Health. The main objective of DHSS was to improve quality, access, and coverage of priority HIV-related health services in priority sites in the seven districts by: identifying 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV); initiating and retaining on antiretroviral therapy (ART) 90% of PLHIV identified; and achieving 90% viral suppression for ART patients.

The National Evaluation of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) Program was also a part of DHSS. It was a study to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of Malawi's PMTCT program by measuring transmission rates in HIV-exposed infants at 54 study sites. The study examined mother-to-child transmission rates and HIV-free survival rates among approximately 3,400 HIV-exposed infants whose mothers are on ART. The study followed up with participants over a period of 24 months or until weaning. The study also compared the use of PMTCT services, including uptake of antenatal testing and ART, and mother-to-child transmission rates between adolescent and young mothers and their babies and examined factors related to disclosure between partners.

Since 2003, MSH has been helping Malawi to strengthen health systems, increase disease prevention education, reduce maternal and childhood mortality rates, and expand access to quality HIV and AIDS services.


Project Team