The STI Initiative
The STI program at HST currently comprises of two sets of project,
- Public sector Quality of care project- working through ISDS sites as well as other sub-districts to facilitate quality of care improvement.
- The Private sector initiative which focuses on developing Public-private partnerships that can facilitate improvement in quality of care in both sectors
The Public sector work is mainly managed by Faith Kumalo, who is currently supporting several sub-districts around the country through working closely with ISDS facilitators and district management teams to assess quality of care, develop remedial plans to address identified problems and then monitor progress towards improved care.
The Private sector work is mainly managed by Rita Sonko and comprises of two sets of activities,
Firstly, co-ordinating the Private sector Consortium: consists of several research and academic institutions, independent practitioners' associations, GPs, policy makers from DOH and other regulatory bodies and individuals working in both the public and private sectors. The consortium started at the 1st National symposium for STI in Nov 2001 at which participants formed four task teams to address key issues and develop strategies to facilitate improvement in quality of care. HST facilitates and organizes national and provincial activities for the consortium.
The four task teams include:
- PPP task team: focused on assessing existing PPP and developing and testing effective models between the Pubic and Private-for-profit (GPs) as well as private not-for-profit sectors (work-place healthcare providers)
- Private sector regulation task team: focused on assessing the regulatory environment for private sector healthcare provision and acceptability of PPP models. Also lobbying Policy makers and requesting them to review the proposed PPP models in view of existing regulations and advise
- Training task team: focused on assessing the available training programs for both post and undergraduate doctors and facilitate development of standardized ongoing training programs that are accessible to all practicing doctors with the aim of standardizing practice and quality in both the private and public sectors. The task team has developed a multi-pronged strategy for CPD training programs for doctors
- Research and Surveillance task team: mainly focused on developing a sustainable and effective surveillance system that is complementary to the newly developed national public sector surveillance for STIs.
Secondly, conducting research into different issues related to STIs. Some of the research that has been recently completed or is ongoing includes,
- A study to assess the quality of training on STIs at all 8 medical schools in South Africa. Results will be used to facilitate discussions with key stakeholders to standardise training for undergraduates as well as foster involvement of medical schools in the national STI control program (completed)
- Evaluating the effectiveness of two PPP projects in KZN and WC with the aim of advising on role of PPP in improving access and quality of care to needy populations (ongoing)
- A cost benefit analysis of using azithromycin compared to doxycycline for treating STI discharge syndromes in males and females in South Africa. The study aims to provide evidence to the national department for decisions on revising the national treatment guidelines for STI (ongoing).
The STI program is currently funded by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
and Department for International Developement (DFID).