Point of Care (POC) for Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) in Nigeria? Healthcare Workers Opinion

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.09.01.Art009

Authors : Busari Olusegun


Without access to life-saving drugs, including antiretroviral, about one-third of HIV exposed infants (HEI) will die by age 1 year and 50% by age 2 years. A 75% reduction in disease progression and 76% reduction in HIV mortality in infants has been attributed to early diagnosis of HIV and early commencement on ART. Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) of HIV aids timely commencement on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Several challenges have been identified with the current process. Point of care (POC) technologies are recommended as a veritable means of addressing these challenges and improving EID uptake. With the aim of assessing the standard of care and the acceptability of POC for the provision of EID. A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted across eight healthcare facilities in Nigeria. The survey was conducted among 72 healthcare workers using self-administered questionnaire; with a recovery rate of 61(84.7%). Analysis of participants’ responses indicate that 100% of the respondents believes there is a need for EID. Most respondent reported an average turnaround time (TAT) of 3-4 weeks (35.8%) and >6 weeks (34.0%). Most respondents identified distance to the PCR laboratories (45.7%) and long TAT (34.8%) as key issues affecting the conduct of EID. On the benefit of POC for EID; 90.2% of respondent believe it is beneficial; while 81.5% of respondent believe that with the introduction and use of POC for EID there will be an increase in EID uptake. The POC is a viable and acceptable alternative for EID to increase uptake.


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