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Fired up: SHOPS Plus TB team in Kano empowered to reach greater heights

The Kano SHOPS Plus TB project team are fired up for greater performance following a high powered visit by TB experts and senior programme and monitoring and evaluation personnel from SHOPS Plus and Society for Family Health who were in Kano for a five-day Joint Technical, Strategic Health Information and Monitoring and Evaluation visit.

The team comprised of Mr. Ifeanyi Okekearu Chief of Party, Dr Bolanle Olusola-Faleye TB Technical Director, Mrs Ayodele Iroko Private Sector Advisor, Mrs Modupe Toriola M&E Advisor and Mr Michael Pedro Strategic Health Information Advisor from SHOPS Plus and Ms. Ogechi Onuoha Senior Technical Specialist for the Kano TB project from SFH.

The visit aimed to review programme performance, access quality of intervention and provide Program Support to the Kano SHOPS Plus TB project team. The joint supportive supervisory visit began on Monday 28 January and ended with a programme review and feedback workshop on Friday 1st February, 2019 at the SFH office in Kano.

The visiting team of experts visited and interacted extensively with all cadre of private health providers on the project – hospitals and clinics, community pharmacists (CPs), Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) and laboratories providing TB services under the project. The team visited facilities in nine out of ten project TB networks to access performance and institutionalize TB screening for all patients visiting the Out Patient Departments (OPD)of hospitals and walk in clients of CPs, PPMVs and laboratories. The team conducted thorough facility-level data verification to identify attributions, gaps and weaknesses of each facility and provider type; identify opportunities, challenges and factors contributing to program performance.

The team of experts worked through the TB project work processes with the Intermediary Organization (IO (SFH) to recognise bottle necks and barriers, critically analysed project performance using project data, validated existing programme data and worked with the project team and stakeholders (government, the facilities, health providers and project staff) to identify opportunities and approaches to fill gaps and institute compact M&E system.

At the end of the visit, the team of experts held a review, feedback and strategy workshop with IO on February 1st 2019 where they provided feedback on strengths and weaknesses identified on the field. The team noted with pleasure the zeal of the network officers, their active engagement with health facilities and willingness to go the extra mile in TB case finding. The team equally noted a gap in optimization and screening of OPD patients of hospitals and walk in clients at other project facilities as well as the need to further strengthen reporting capacity of project facilities.

At the workshop the team of experts worked with the Kano programme staff to review evidence-based, data-driven strategies including a robust strategic behaviour change communication plan to produce significant increase in program performance in Kano. The team equally deployed a digital app called google sheet to pilot real time data reporting aimed at improving data quality and timeliness.

Speaking at the workshop, the Kano state TB and Leprosy Control Officer Dr Ibrahim Aliyu Umar appreciated the efforts and contribution of the project to increasing case finding and placing patients on treatment. He assured the project of governments support and commitment while urging all project staff especially the Network Officers to be diligent in the discharge of their duties as the success of the community interventions depend on them.

The network officers expressed satisfaction and appreciation to the visiting team for the quality feedback on performance, strategies and strengthened capacity to respond to implementation challenges encountered during field implementation.

SHOPS Plus TB project implemented by SFH is working in Kano with PPMVs, CPs, standalone labs, private hospitals and clinics to increase availability of TB services in the private sector; improve flow of persons with presumed TB into detection and treatment systems; improve the quality of private sector TB services; and strengthen health systems to foster and sustain Public Private Mix (PPM) model for TB care.

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