On May 26, 2017, the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) co-hosted a symposium at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, Tanzania, where research teams shared their ongoing projects related to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Tanzania. The symposium brought together a range of stakeholders to discuss findings and consider how research might best inform the implementation of national PMTCT guidelines.
Panels included updates on PMTCT policy guidelines, considerations of the barriers to care among HIV-infected pregnant women, strategies for capacity building in research and statistics, implementation science research on PMTCT care delivery, and presentations of ongoing research by KCMC students and trainees. The symposium welcomed representatives from the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and several local health facilities.
The symposium was organized by the Option B+ study PIs Blandina Mmbaga, director of the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, and Melissa Watt, assistant research professor of global health at DGHI and Associate Director of the Duke Center for AIDS Research Social and Behavioral Sciences Core. The intended purpose of the meeting was to connect researchers, policy makers, and care providers working on PMTCT services. The symposium also provided an opportunity for Drs. Mmbaga and Watt to present on study progress, insights, and next steps, and for Dr. James Ngocho to share his findings on antenatal depression and anxiety among women in the B+ cohort.
“The meeting was an important step in closing the research-implementation gap in PMTCT care,” Watt noted. “The reason we do research is to improve care delivery and patient outcomes, and this symposium offered an opportunity to reflect on how we can make sure our research is serving that goal.”
Read more about the symposium and ongoing PMTCT research in Tanzania here.