On May 26, the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) co-hosted a symposium at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania, to share ongoing research on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Tanzania. The symposium brought together a range of stakeholders to discuss how research might best inform the implementation of the national PMTCT guidelines in Tanzania. Panels included updates on PMTCT policy guidelines, training and routine data collection, implementation science research on PMTCT care delivery, and presentations of ongoing research by KCMC students and trainees. Representatives from the Ministry of Health, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and local health facilities participated.
Blandina Mmbaga, director of the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, and Melissa Watt, assistant research professor of global health at DGHI and Associate Director of the CFAR SBS Core, organized the symposium to connect researchers, policy makers and care providers working on PMTCT services. Mmbaga and Watt are currently conducting a two-year study examining the implementation of the national PMTCT guidelines in nine clinics in the Kilimanjaro region, a study based on a CFAR Small Grant awarded to Dr. Watt to examine postpartum HIV care engagement in South Africa.
“The meeting was an important step in closing the research-implementation gap in PMTCT care,” Watt noted. “The reason we do research is to improve care delivery and patient outcomes, and this symposium offered an opportunity to reflect on how we can make sure our research is serving that goal.”
Read more about the symposium and ongoing PMTCT research here.