Lighthouse HIV testing services are extended to three other districts in the Central region. These are Ntcheu, Dedza and Mchinji. Lighthouse currently has 125 HIV Diagnostic Assistants (HDAs) in 50 facilities in these three districts. These HDAs provide HIV Testing Services which includes HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC), Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) and Viral Load sample collection. The services are provided on week days for all the facilities and during weekends and public holidays for the three District Hospitals. 20 of the HDAs conduct Outreach HTS in 11 health facilities with a focus on testing children below 15 years through Village Clinics which are managed in the communities by Health Surveillance Assistants(HSAs).The availability of the HDAs who are lay HTS providers has facilitated an increase in the number of clients and patients who test for HIV as the service is provided in all inpatient Wards, Under 5 Clinics(U5C), OPD, Antenatal Clinics (ANC) and has even extended to community testing and index household testing where consenting HIV positive parents are visited in their households and HIV testing is conducted.
For HIV positive infants and adults who chose the same facility for ART services, we have a system of escorting and linking them to the ART providers after which periodic checks are made in the ART register to determine and document linkage outcomes. This system is in line with the 90-90-90 target of identifying PLWHIV and linking them into ART care. .
The program has seen different partners in the districts working together towards achieving program goals. On a quarterly basis, Lighthouse holds District review meetings with EGPAF, District Health Management Teams and other HIV related Technical staff. The meetings aim at sharing the lessons learnt over the quarter and to get members inputs to facilitate program success. Lighthouse also conducts quarterly HTS supervision alongside HTS Officers in the Department of HIV and AIDS, District HTS Coordinators and Lighthouse Data Officers. The major focus during the joint supervision is HTS provider adherence to counselling standards.