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