Vasectomy as a proxy: extrapolating health system lessons to male circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy in Papua New Guinea

Tynan, Anna, Vallely, Andrew, Kelly, Angela, Law, Greg, Millan, John, Siba, Peter, Kaldor, John and Hill, Peter S. (2012) Vasectomy as a proxy: extrapolating health system lessons to male circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy in Papua New Guinea. BMC Health Services Research, 12 1: 299.1-299.12.


Author Tynan, Anna
Vallely, Andrew
Kelly, Angela
Law, Greg
Millan, John
Siba, Peter
Kaldor, John
Hill, Peter S.
Total Author Count Override 8
Title Vasectomy as a proxy: extrapolating health system lessons to male circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy in Papua New Guinea
Journal name BMC Health Services Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6963
Publication date 2012-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1472-6963-12-299
Volume 12
Issue 1
Start page 299.1
End page 299.12
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract Background
Male circumcision (MC) has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition among heterosexual men, with WHO recommending MC as an essential component of comprehensive HIV prevention programs in high prevalence settings since 2007. While Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a current prevalence of only 1%, the high rates of sexually transmissible diseases and the extensive, but unregulated, practice of penile cutting in PNG have led the National Department of Health (NDoH) to consider introducing a MC program. Given public interest in circumcision even without active promotion by the NDoH, examining the potential health systems implications for MC without raising unrealistic expectations presents a number of methodological issues. In this study we examined health systems lessons learned from a national no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV) program, and their implications for a future MC program in PNG.

Methods

Fourteen in-depth interviews were conducted with frontline health workers and key government officials involved in NSV programs in PNG over a 3-week period in February and March 2011. Documentary, organizational and policy analysis of HIV and vasectomy services was conducted and triangulated with the interviews. All interviews were digitally recorded and later transcribed. Application of the WHO six building blocks of a health system was applied and further thematic analysis was conducted on the data with assistance from the analysis software MAXQDA.

Results

Obstacles in funding pathways, inconsistent support by government departments, difficulties with staff retention and erratic delivery of training programs have resulted in mixed success of the national NSV program.

Conclusions

In an already vulnerable health system significant investment in training, resources and negotiation of clinical space will be required for an effective MC program. Focused leadership and open communication between provincial and national government, NGOs and community is necessary to assist in service sustainability. Ensuring clear policy and guidance across the entire sexual and reproductive health sector will provide opportunities to strengthen key areas of the health system.
Keyword Male circumcision
HIV/AIDS
Papua New Guinea
Health system strengthening
No-scalpel vasectomy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Population Health Publications
 
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