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Johannesburg, South Africa

Edgil D.,United States Agency for International Development | Stankard P.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Forsythe S.,FutuResearch Institute | Rech D.,Center for and Prevention Studies | And 8 more authors.
PLoS Medicine

Background: The global HIV prevention community is implementing voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs across eastern and southern Africa, with a goal of reaching 80% coverage in adult males by 2015. Successful implementation will depend on the accessibility of commodities essential for VMMC programming and the appropriate allocation of resources to support the VMMC supply chain. For this, the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, has developed a standard list of commodities for VMMC programs. Methods and Findings: This list of commodities was used to inform program planning for a 1-y program to circumcise 152,000 adult men in Swaziland. During this process, additional key commodities were identified, expanding the standard list to include commodities for waste management, HIV counseling and testing, and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. The approximate costs for the procurement of commodities, management of a supply chain, and waste disposal, were determined for the VMMC program in Swaziland using current market prices of goods and services. Previous costing studies of VMMC programs did not capture supply chain costs, nor the full range of commodities needed for VMMC program implementation or waste management. Our calculations indicate that depending upon the volume of services provided, supply chain and waste management, including commodities and associated labor, contribute between US$58.92 and US$73.57 to the cost of performing one adult male circumcision in Swaziland. Conclusions: Experience with the VMMC program in Swaziland indicates that supply chain and waste management add approximately US$60 per circumcision, nearly doubling the total per procedure cost estimated previously; these additional costs are used to inform the estimate of per procedure costs modeled by Njeuhmeli et al. in "Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision: Modeling the Impact and Cost of Expanding Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention in Eastern and Southern Africa." Program planners and policy makers should consider the significant contribution of supply chain and waste management to VMMC program costs as they determine future resource needs for VMMC programs. Source

Bertrand J.,Tulane University | Rech D.,Center for and Prevention Studies | Hatzold K.,Population Services International | Samkange C.A.,University of Zimbabwe | And 6 more authors.

Background: The rapid expansion of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has raised concerns whether health systems can deliver and sustain VMMC according to minimum quality criteria. Methods and Findings: A comparative process evaluation was used to examine data from SYMMACS, the Systematic Monitoring of the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Scale-Up, among health facilities providing VMMC across two years of program scale-up. Site-level assessments examined the availability of guidelines, supplies and equipment, infection control, and continuity of care services. Direct observation of VMMC surgeries were used to assess care quality. Two sample tests of proportions and t-tests were used to examine differences in the percent of facilities meeting requisite preparedness standards and the mean number of directly-observed surgical tasks performed correctly. Results showed that safe, high quality VMMC can be implemented and sustained at-scale, although substantial variability was observed over time. In some settings, facility preparedness and VMMC service quality improved as the number of VMMC facilities increased. Yet, lapses in high performance and expansion of considerably deficient services were also observed. Surgical tasks had the highest quality scores, with lower performance levels in infection control, pre-operative examinations, and post-operative patient monitoring and counseling. The range of scale-up models used across countries additionally underscored the complexity of delivering high quality VMMC. Conclusions: Greater efforts are needed to integrate VMMC scale-up and quality improvement processes in sub-Saharan African settings. Monitoring of service quality, not just adverse events reporting, will be essential in realizing the full health impact of VMMC for HIV prevention. Source

Rech D.,Center for and Prevention Studies | Bertrand J.T.,Global Development Systems | Thomas N.,Global Development Systems | Farrell M.,Global Development Systems | And 8 more authors.

Introduction: This analysis explores the association between elements of surgical efficiency in voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), quality of surgical technique, and the amount of time required to conduct VMMC procedures in actual field settings. Efficiency outcomes are defined in terms of the primary provider's time with the client (PPTC) and total elapsed operating time (TEOT). Methods: Two serial cross-sectional surveys of VMMC sites were conducted in Kenya, Republic of South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in 2011 and 2012. Trained clinicians observed quality of surgical technique and timed 9 steps in the VMMC procedure. Four elements of efficiency (task-shifting, task-sharing [of suturing], rotation among multiple surgical beds, and use of electrocautery) and quality of surgical technique were assessed as explanatory variables. Mann Whitney and Kruskal Wallis tests were used in the bivariate analysis and linear regression models for the multivariate analyses to test the relationship between these five explanatory variables and two outcomes: PPTC and TEOT. The VMMC procedure TEOT and PPTC averaged 23-25 minutes and 6-15 minutes, respectively, across the four countries and two years. The data showed time savings from task-sharing in suturing and use of electrocautery in South Africa and Zimbabwe (where task-shifting is not authorized). After adjusting for confounders, results demonstrated that having a secondary provider complete suturing and use of electrocautery reduced PPTC. Factors related to TEOT varied by country and year, but task-sharing of suturing and/or electrocautery were significant in two countries. Quality of surgical technique was not significantly related to PPTC or TEOT, except for South Africa in 2012 where higher quality was associated with lower TEOT. Conclusions: SYMMACS data confirm the efficiency benefits of task-sharing of suturing and use of electrocautery for decreasing TEOT. Reduced TEOT and PPTC in high volume setting did not result in decreased quality of surgical care. Source

Perry L.,Tulane University | Rech D.,Center for and Prevention Studies | Mavhu W.,University of Zimbabwe | Frade S.,Center for and Prevention Studies | And 8 more authors.

Background: Human resource capacity is vital to the scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) services. VMMC providers are at risk of "burnout" from performing a single task repeatedly in a high volume work environment that produces long work hours and intense work effort. Methods and findings: The Systematic Monitoring of the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Scale-up (SYMMACS) surveyed VMMC providers in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe in 2011 (n = 357) and 2012 (n = 591). Providers self-reported on their training, work experience, levels of job-fulfillment and work fatigue/burnout. Data analysis included a descriptive analysis of VMMC provider characteristics, and both bivariate and multivariate analyses of factors associated with provider work fatigue/burnout. In 2012, Kenyan providers had worked in VMMC for a median of 31 months compared to South Africa (10 months), Tanzania (15 months), and Zimbabwe (11 months). More than three-quarters (78-99%) of providers in all countries in 2012 reported that VMMC is a personally fulfilling job. However, 67% of Kenyan providers reported starting to experience work fatigue/burnout compared to South Africa (33%), Zimbabwe (17%), and Tanzania (15%). Despite the high level of work fatigue/burnout in Kenya, none of the measured factors (i.e., gender, age, full-time versus part-time status, length of service, number of operations performed, or cadre) were significantly associated with work fatigue/burnout in 2011. In 2012, logistic regression found increases in age (p<.05) and number of months working in VMMC (p<.01) were associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing work fatigue/burnout, while higher career total VMMCs decreased the likelihood of experiencing burnout. Conclusion: Given cross-country differences, further elucidation of cultural and other contextual factors that may influence provider burnout is required. Continuing to emphasize the contribution that providers make in the fight against HIV/AIDS is important. Source

Mavhu W.,Zimbabwe AIDS Prevention Project UZ | Frade S.,Center for and Prevention Studies | Yongho A.-M.,Global Development Systems | Farrell M.,Global Development Systems | And 10 more authors.

Background: Countries participating in voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) scale-up have adopted most of six elements of surgical efficiency, depending on national policy. However, effective implementation of these elements largely depends on providers' attitudes and subsequent compliance. We explored the concordance between recommended practices and providers' perceptions toward the VMMC efficiency elements, in part to inform review of national policies. Methods and Findings: As part of Systematic Monitoring of the VMMC Scale-up (SYMMACS), we conducted a survey of VMMC providers in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. SYMMACS assessed providers' attitudes and perceptions toward these elements in 2011 and 2012. A restricted analysis using 2012 data to calculate unadjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the country effect on each attitudinal outcome was done using logistic regression. As only two countries allow more than one cadre to perform the surgical procedure, odds ratios looking at country effect were adjusted for cadre effect for these two countries. Qualitative data from open-ended responses were used to triangulate with quantitative analyses. This analysis showed concordance between each country's policies and provider attitudes toward the efficiency elements. One exception was task-shifting, which is not authorized in South Africa or Zimbabwe; providers across all countries approved this practice. Conclusions: The decision to adopt efficiency elements is often based on national policies. The concordance between the policies of each country and provider attitudes bodes well for compliance and effective implementation. However, study findings suggest that there may be need to consult providers when developing national policies. Source

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