Category Archive for "2008"

Development of a Strategic Plan to Strengthen Health Information System in Georgia

Development of a Strategic Plan to Strengthen Health Information System in Georgia project was financed by the Health Metrics Network (HMN). The project started in April 2007 and was completed in March 2008.

The aim of the project was to formulate a sound health information system and development of the strategic plan aligned with HMN standards. The project focused on assisting the Government of Georgia (GoG) in identifying and convening country stakeholders from health, statistics, and development agencies; assessing the current health information system using the HMN Toolkit; and composing a comprehensive, prioritized, and budgeted Health Information System Strategic Plan.

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Establishment of evidence base for national HIV/AIDS program by strengthening of HIV/AIDS surveillance system in the country

The project was funded by the Global Fund and implemented by the Curatio International Foundation (CIF) in partnership with Georgian Infectious diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center, Public Union “Bemoni,” and association “Tanadgoma.” The project took place from February, 2008 to December 2010.

The aim of the project was to reform HIV/AIDS surveillance system in the country. The project encompassed 3 basic components, each of them embracing series of activities.

In the framework of the first (1) component of the project, Improvement of the routine HIV/AIDS Surveillance system, the HIV/AIDS surveillance system was assessed, which later allowed to develop the HIV/AIDS national surveillance plan. Qualitative and quantitative research methodology, as well as literature review have been applied for exploring international approaches and requirements for the HIV surveillance system, priorities of national policy, and legal environment; assessing information flows, technical capacities and human resources of health care facilities, public health centers, and laboratories/blood stations; and analyzing skills and drawbacks of professional staff in regards to HIV/AIDS surveillance.

Exhaustive assessment and analysis of HIV/AIDS surveillance system led to the development of the National HIV/AIDS surveillance Plan. The document incorporates clear, comprehensive, and operationally viable information serves as a guideline for policy implementation and as an instrument for advocating and mobilizing adequate financial and technical resources. It increases understanding of key concepts and models of the HIV/AIDS surveillance system and suggests ways for effective labor division among various participants and responsible parties. The National HIV/AIDS Surveillance Plan provides an opportunity to better understand financial implications of strategy alternatives and choices to recognize financial requirements and effectively mobilize resources to support sustainability of the HIV/AIDS Surveillance System.

Collaboration of the National HIV/AIDS Routine Surveillance Guidelines was the step following the elaboration of National HIV/AIDS Surveillance Plan, clarifying standard operational procedures for routine surveillance related to and without voluntary consulting and testing (VCT), consultation before and after blood capture, and transportation rules for HIV testing. HIV/AIDS Routine surveillance guideline was endorsed by the Decree of the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs #217/o on 23, July 2010.

Along with endorsing guidelines, the trainings on routine HIV/AIDS surveillance requirements, registration/notification/reporting procedures were delivered to health care specialists throughout the country.

Based on the National HIV/AIDS Surveillance Plan the electronic data base for HIV/AIDS surveillance system was developed. Electronic surveillance system collects case-based data on every tested individual by epidemiological groups. The data allows and software automatically calculates all routine surveillance indicators and produces different types of analytical reports.
The second (2) component of the project foresaw elaboration of the sentinel HIV/AIDS Surveillance guidelines including registration, notification, reporting forms and standard operation procedures. Collection of data through sentinel surveillance would make it possible to provide evidence-grounded HIV/AIDS statistics and strengthen HIV/AIDS surveillance in Georgia.

The third (3) component focused on carrying out behavior surveillance survey with biomarker component among the IDUs, CSWs, Prisoners and MSM and development of standard guidelines for BSS, including standard methodology, standard tools/questioners for data collection, and standard framework for data analysis.

Newly designed HIV/AIDS surveillance system gathers information from different sources: routine surveillance, sentinel surveillance and BSS.

Follow the links to view:
Bio-Behavioral Surveillance Surveys
National HIV/AIDS Surveillance Plan (Eng.version)
National HIV/AIDS Surveillance Plan (Geo.version)
HIV/AIDS Surveillance Assessment Report (Eng.version)
HIV/AIDS Surveillance Assessment Report (Geo.version)

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Customer Satisfaction Research Report on Corporate Health Insurance Released

Curatio International Foundation releases report on Customer Satisfaction Research on Corporate Health Insurance. The report was supported by International Health Budget Monitoring Initiative of the Open Society Institute. The research prepared by the three experts of CIF (Marine Egutia, Natia Rukhadze, Tamar Gotsadze) looks at trends of insurance market, shares of insurance types and customer satisfaction. Georgian insurance market is young, though the rapid growth is apparent. Data prompted by the National Bank of Georgia proved 33 percent growth in 2009 compared with the year 2008. The Health insurance is the most popular and occupies 68.6 percent of market structure.

The share of the insurance companies has increased since 2007 following the health financing reform launched by the Government of Georgia. The private insurance companies succeeded to attract substantial amount of state finances. Insurance of state program beneficiaries by insurance companies is being implemented in the framework of state assignments. According to 2008 year data, 18 percent of Georgian population is insured by the state. Along with this, there is a slow pace of corporate insurance development which is used by employees of public, private and non-governmental sectors. Retail insurance comprises 1 percent of market. 76 percent of the population is exposed to health risks.

The study aims to explore satisfaction of corporate clients of insurance companies and develops recommendations for further polishing and improvement of corporate insurance services. The research revealed that there is a high share/percent of not insured employees in corporate insurance schemes. Financial accessibility is one of the most noteworthy barriers for joining the insurance scheme. Not all citizens having the will to use insurance have a guaranteed opportunity to get corporate insurance.

Insurance product seems less attractive for those having the will to get insured. Insurance contracts are imperfect that often becomes the reason for customer dissatisfaction and finally leads to changes of services and vendors. Procedures for contract extension and update are complicated and have a negative impact on insured. Variety and multitude of insurance packages further complicates the process of vendor choice and decision making.

At the end the report prompts possible ways for problem solving and offers valuable recommendations on how to make corporate health insurance better and raise customer satisfaction.

Follow the link to view the full version of the report, policy brief and presentation.

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Regulation of Health Professionals-Comparative Analysis of Georgia and Western Countries

The report presents the Comparative Analysis of Georgia and Western Countries. This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development in the framework of the CoReform. The publication highlights factors deremining approaches to the regulation of health professionals, instruments used for regulating professional resources, factors influencing rules of licensing and authorization at national and international levels. Published in April 2008, Author: Vakhtang Megrelishvili. Read the full version.

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Effects of GFATM on Georgia’s Health System Development, 2008

Global health initiatives like Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), Global Alliance for Vaccines Initiative (GAVI), Roll Back Malaria and Stop TB etc. are intended to support developing countries to effectively deal with specific diseases/conditions. In practice, the vertical nature of such financing is likely to have a variety of direct and indirect effects upon health care systems, both positive and negative. The size and the components of the grant, makes Global Fund the most significant player, at least for now. But evidence shows that experience with disbursement of GFATM grants has caused considerable frustration in recipient countries. In some countries, these new financing sources are providing larger sources of funding than the entire annual public health budget. Depending on how these resources are used, they have the potential to overstretch already weakened systems, or they may serve to support to the broader health care system with potentially positive effects on other health priorities as well. In Georgia, our study looked at the possible system wide impact of Global Fund on Georgia’s health care system. Therefore, the aim of the study was to look at the actual effects of GFATM on the policy environment, public-private interaction, human resources and access to specific services by clients. The findings are based on a base-line survey implemented in 2004 with financial support received from EU and an end-line survey financially supported by Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR), within the frames of research network for Global HIV/AIDS Initiative. Authors: Ketevan Chkhatarashvili; George Gotsadze, Natia Rukhadze. View the document.

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Strategic Plan for the Development of Health Information Systems in Georgia

The purpose this document is to outline a strategy for the development of a Health Information System (HIS) in Georgia. The strategy is expected to be used by in-country stakeholders and international development partners to strengthen in a logical and practical way the Health Information Systems (HIS) bringing it up to international standards. If successful the HIS will contribute to evidence-based decision making in health policy area.

The current work on the development of the strategic plan to strengthen HIS has been carried out within the framework of a grant made to Georgia by Health Metrics Network (HMN), which is a global partnership whose mission is to champion and facilitate better health information at country, regional, and global levels.

Curatio International Foundation, a non-for-profit institution with on-ground experience in research and policy advice has been awarded the Grant to assist the Government and non-government stakeholders in the HIS development strategy design. View the document.

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The Study on System-wide Effects of the Global Fund on Georgia’s Health Care Systems posted on GHIN website

The country case summary displayed on GHIN website was prepared as part of the academic consortium of the WHO Maximizing Positive Synergies between health systems and GHIs initiative. The study assesses the effects of the Global Fund funding on the health system in Georgia.

It focuses on the policy environment, public-private interactions, human resources and access to HIV/AIDS services.

The effects of Global Fund funding on Georgia’s health system were assessed in a two phase study conducted during 2004-2008. The study was part of the System Wide Effects of the Fund (SWEF) Network, which participates in the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN), where researchers explore the effects of Global Health Initiatives (GHI) on HIV/AIDS programs and health systems of the countries.

The findings presented draw from a base-line survey implemented in 2004; the survey was carried out in 35 health facilities, in 26 districts, with a follow up study a year later.

Follow the link to view the article.

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National Conference in the framework of the Global Fund funded project

On December 24, 2008 the first phase of the project “Establishment of evidence base for national HIV/AIDS program by strengthening of HIV/AIDS surveillance system in the country” was closed by the National Conference.

The event highlighted crowning achievements of the project and aimed at presenting National HIV/AIDS Surveillance Plan, Electronic Management Information System and all activities implemented on the path of project implementation period.

The convention hosted the Minister of Health, Labor and Social Affairs, Head of the Health and Social Affairs Committee of the Georgian Parliament, and representatives from donor organizations, National Center for Disease Control and Public health, Center of Infectious Disease, AIDS and Clinical immunology and NGOs focusing on HIV/AIDS issues.

The first phase of the project covered the period from February 2008 till December 2008 and was implemented in the capital Tbilisi and regional city Batumi by Curatio International Foundation in partnership with Georgian Infectious diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center, Public Union “Bemoni” and association “Tanadgoma”. The effort is funded by the Global Fund.

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CIF conducted a workshop to discuss HIV/AIDS Surveillance System Assessment results

Trainings on Mental Health Financing conducted with the financial support of Adam Smith Foundation end successfully. 25 representatives from Mental Health NGOs, Association of psychiatrics, psychiatric coalition, ombudsmen office and media enjoyed an opportunity of gaining sound understanding of conceptual model of mental health financing. On June 9 the conclusive meeting following the series of trainings on Mental Health Financing was held. It summed up the experience gained during the training course by the participants, appraising effectiveness of the course, and analyzing results of the survey carried out on the previous meeting.

Trainings conducted during April 22- May 15 2008 were delivered by the highly qualified consultant trainer Dr. George Gotsadze. 25 representatives from Mental Health NGOs, Association of psychiatrics, psychiatric coalition, ombudsmen office and media enjoyed an opportunity of gaining sound understanding of conceptual model of mental health financing.

The course consisted of 4 comprehensive, interactive type trainings each of them increasing capacity of participants for advocating for the needs of mentally ill people through intense engagement with the government on public financial management.

Comparative analysis of local practices of mental health financing with this of selected European countries gave the rich landscape of sources and chains of mental health financing.

The evaluation questionnaire delivered at the end of the course proved the trainings highly informative and beneficial since they enabled organizations to fully realize their shortfalls and take actions for improving their performance.

This effort became possible in the framework of the project implemented by the Curatio International Foundation with the financial support of Adam Smith Foundation.

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CIF conducted a workshop in the framework of the project funded by the Global Fund

On March 31, 2008 a stakeholder workshop to introduce project goal and objectives, project components, main activities and project time-frame was held at the Hotel “Ambasadori”. The workshop was organized in the framework of the project “Establishment of evidence base for HIV/AIDS national program, by strengthening surveillance system”, funded by the Global Fund and implemented by Curatio International Foundation in partnership with Georgian Infectious diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center, Public Union “Bemoni” and association “Tanadgoma”.

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