The Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support (METS) Program is a five-year CDC funded, above-site collaborative mechanism between the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The Program focuses on all CDC-supported districts and also offers support on the DREAMS Project, HMIS Tools management, Viral Load Monitoring and Option B+ reporting.
Dr. Lisa Nelson who took up the office of the CDC Country Director from Dr. Steven Weisman paid the team a courtesy visit on 30th October 2017. Dr. Nelson was accompanied by Dr. Jennifer Galbraith and Steven Baveewo from CDC.
The meeting was Chaired by METS Co-PI Professor Fred Wabwire-Mangeni who made a presentation on the relevance of the Program.
Program Manager, Evelyn Akello, gave an overview of the milestones attained by the program and highlighted the good working relationship that the team had enjoyed with CDC. Among the achievements presented, she pointed out that through METS intervention, there was improved data quality for use in program planning and reporting, improved reporting timeliness and Completeness across FY 2015/16 and2016/17 for CDC supported Districts, support to compile data on key populations, improved use of data among the District Health Teams, enhanced planning for the decentralized HIV response, tracking of ART Clients using unique identifiers, increased availability of critical HMIS tools at health facilities, uniform use of Electronic Medical Records in selected facilities and several innovations like the ARV Stock monitoring tools among others. She also informed the meeting that the District HIV bulletins writing workshop were due to commence and that the best pieces were to be published in the national news dailies.
Dr. Nelson noted that it was great work that she had seen and was confident that the team would achieve its targets. She emphasized the need for data given the move towards epidemic control and noted that there were vast collaborative opportunities for METS. She further cautioned that it was important to analyze PEPFAR support and how it is evolving and how best to utilize the resources from CDC as a way of capitalizing on such support. “There is need to meet with CDC departments outside HIV to address some other the issues they are fronting. There is also need to look at how best to reach out to the younger population infected with HIV,” she added
Dr. Nelson was particularly excited by the Real-Time ARV Stock Status (RASS) Dashboard because of the many partners that METS had worked with and for the fact that they had good information and it was a unique innovation that hadn’t been seen elsewhere. She however noted that there was need to plan for implementation beyond the two districts involved in the pilot.
Dr. Galbraith commended the METS team saying that it had a high turn over and response rae and it had been a pleasure to work with them.