Health systems in the Republic of Congo: challenges and opportunities for implementing tuberculosis and HIV collaborative service, research, and training activities

Int J Infect Dis. 2017 Mar;56:62-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2016.10.012. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Abstract

The Republic of Congo is on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of 'high burden' countries for tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. TB is the leading cause of death among HIV-infected patients in the Republic of Congo. In this viewpoint, the available data on TB and HIV in the Republic of Congo are reviewed, and the gaps and bottlenecks that the National TB Control Program (NTCP) faces are discussed. Furthermore, priority requirements for developing and implementing TB and HIV collaborative service activities are identified. HIV and TB control programs operate as distinct entities with separate case management plans. The implementation of collaborative TB/HIV activities to evaluate and monitor the management of TB/HIV co-infected individuals remains inefficient in most regions, and these activities are sometimes non-existent. This reveals major challenges that require definition in order to improve the delivery of healthcare. The NTCP lacks adequate resources for optimal implementation of control measures of TB and HIV compliance and outcomes. The importance of aligning and integrating TB and HIV treatment services (including follow-up) and adherence support services through coordinated and collaborative efforts between individual TB and HIV programs is discussed. Aligning and integrating TB and HIV treatment services through coordinated and collaborative efforts between individual TB and HIV programs is required. However, the WHO recommendations are generic, and health services in the Republic of Congo need to tailor their TB and HIV programs according to the availability of resources and operational feasibility. This will also open opportunities for synergizing collaborative TB/HIV research and training activities, which should be prioritized by the donors supporting the TB/HIV programs.

Keywords: Collaborative; HIV; Health systems; Implementation; Republic of Congo; Research; TB; Training.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / prevention & control
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / therapy
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections* / therapy
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Research
  • Tuberculosis* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis* / prevention & control
  • Tuberculosis* / therapy
  • World Health Organization