Framework for monitoring equity in access and health systems issues in ART programmes in southern Africa
Universal provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART), while feasible, is expensive. In light of this limitation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched the 3 x 5 initiative, to provide ART to 3 million people by the end of the year 2005. In Southern Africa, large-scale provision of ART will
likely be achieved through fragile public health systems. ART programmes should therefore be developed and expanded in ways that will not aggravate inequities or result in the inappropriate withdrawal of resources from other health interventions or from other parts of the health system. This paper, proposes a framework for monitoring equity in access and health systems issues in ART programmes in Southern Africa. It proposes that an equity monitoring system should comprise seven thematic areas. These thematic areas encompass a national monitoring system which extends beyond one agency or single data collection method. Together with monitoring of targets in terms of numbers treated, there should also be monitoring of health systems impacts and issues in ART expansion, with reporting both nationally and to a regional body.
Malawi Medical Journal Biology Vol. 19 (1) 2007: pp. 20-24