Challenges and Strategies for Standardizing Information Systems for Integrated TB/HIV Services in Tanzania: A Case Study of Kinondoni Municipality
The synergetic prevalence of Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV infections led to the launch of integrated TB/HIV services, officially coined “collaborative TB/HIV activities”. The Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children in Tanzania works with multiple implementing partners in achieving collaborative TB/HIV goals. This study assessed challenges, best practices and strategies for standardizing Health Information Systems (HIS) for integrated TB/HIV services. A descriptive cross sectional study design employing both qualitative methods was used. Data were collected through key informant interviews, observation of existing practices, and document review. Absence of health information system standards control mechanisms was noted to be the cardinal challenge. The study recommends a need to establish formal mechanisms to control information system standards across partners, reviewing existing national TB/HIV policy guidelines to include adequate aspects of monitoring and evaluation, establishing a functional partner regulatory authority and implementing data quality assurance mechanisms.