The East African Community (EAC) is implementing the EAC Integrated Health Programme (EIHP 2016-2020) which seeks to harmonize essential RMNCAH and HIV / AIDS services among other interventions with financial support from Sida. As part of the implementation of this programme, the 13th Ordinary Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Health held in November 2016 approved Terms of Reference for the development of EAC regional harmonized integrated Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and HIV/AIDS service packages, standards and guidelines (EAC/Health/SCM13/Directive 77).
The development of the integrated packages, standards and guidelines will be informed by the findings and recommendations of a regional assessment of integrated RMNCAH and HIV/AIDS services in the EAC Partner States that is expected to run from early May to 30th June 2019 so as to generate evidence required to inform the development of the recommended guidance documents.
The Regional Study Steering Committee is composed of the following 4 experts were appointed by the respective Partner States as members of the national study steering committee:
- National Head of the RMNCAH Programme (Principal Investigator - PI)
- National Head of the HIV/AIDS Control Programme (PI)
- Senior technical expert from the RMNCAH Programme (Co - PI)
- Senior technical expert from the HIV/AIDS Control Programme (Co - PI)
The Regional Study Steering Committee developed the study protocol, data collection tools and other operational instruments between March and September 2018 which were subsequently adopted by the 17th Ordinary Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Health held on 26th October 2018.
Following ethical clearance of the study, confirmation of the national study teams, the regional Training of Trainers (ToT) and pretesting of the data collection tools took place in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania from 25th to 30th April 2019. Thereafter the ToTs rolled out training of the national study teams for the Republic of South from 8th to 10th May 2019 as preparations for the data collection that is expected to commence on 13th May 2019. The in country activities that commenced in the Republic of South are part of the regional assessment of integrated RMNCAH and HIV/AIDS services in the EAC Partner States.