Number of health facilities that offer paediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART)
Number of health facilities that offer paediatric ART.
Capacity of health facilities to provide paediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART),expressed as percentage of health facilities that offer paediatric ART. Health facilities include public and private facilities, health centres and clinics (including TB centres), as well as health facilities that are run by faith-based or nongovernmental
Antiretroviral therapy is a cornerstone of effective HIV treatment, and measuring the percentage of health facilities that offer paediatric ART provides valuable information about capacity to address HIV care in children.
This indicator provides valuable information about the availability of paediatric ART services in health facilities, but it does not capture information about the quality of services provided. Antiretroviral therapy itself is complex, and it should be delivered as part of a package of care interventions, including the provision of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis, the management of opportunistic infections and comorbidities, nutritional support and palliative care. Simple monitoring of ART availability does not ensure that all ART-related services are adequately provided to those who need them.
Nevertheless, it is important to know what percentage of health facilities provide ART services in order to plan for service expansion as needed to meet universal access targets.
One potential limitation to facility surveys or censuses is that they are usually only conducted once every few years and may not capture the latest information especially in setting with recent intensified scale-up.
• One strategy to scale up ART services is to make ART including paediatric ART services available in more health facilities. This may be achieved by decentralizing ART services from tertiary facilities (e.g. hospitals) to primary or
secondary-level health facilities. Greater availability of paediatric ART services provides crucial support to the goal of universal access to HIV treatment.
Depending on the country's epidemic type, the denominator may not be as relevant if the HIV program strategy aims to target a limited number of sites to offer paediatric ART in.
Data utilization: Look at trends overtime. Explore the number of facilities that provide ART in relation the estimated number of children in need of ART.