June 2020 LabCoP ECHO Session: Key Considerations for Differentiated Service Delivery

June 25, 2020

LabCoP’s June ECHO session covered differentiated service delivery (DSD) for HIV care. DSD is a client-centered approach aimed at simplifying and adapting HIV services to different groups of people living with HIV, while reducing the burden on the health system. In recent months, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included adjustments to clinical care of essential diseases and re-purposing existing diagnostic tools and other healthcare resources to fight the pandemic. One key consideration is to prevent scale-back of some hard-earned progress in the HIV continuum of care, including DSD. This session covered the modalities for DSD of HIV services across the cascade and how this was adjusted to better serve individual needs and reduce the unnecessary burden on the healthcare system. The presentations highlighted the experience of Eswatini, which made some effective HIV service delivery adaptations during COVID-19, allowing them to keep their progress on track towards the UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets. Participants learnt about DSD before COVID-19; what DSD policy adaptations have been taken in response to COVID-19 across CQUIN member countries; and Eswatini-specific policy and practice adaptation, including the response to COVID-19 to protect both providers and recipients of care. Presentations were made by Dr Peter Preko, CQUIN Project Director, ICAP at Columbia University, and Dr Hervé Kambale, DSD Coordinator, Ministry of Health, Eswatini.