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P4.46 Introduction of rapid syphilis and hiv testing in prenatal care in colombia: qualitative analysis
  1. Hernando G Gaitan Duarte1,
  2. Maria Teresa Ochoa-Manjarres1,
  3. Sidia Caicedo2,
  4. Berta Gomez3,
  5. Freddy Perez4
  1. 1Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota D.C. – Colombia
  2. 2Ministerio de Salud y La Protección Social, Bogota D.C. – Colombia
  3. 3Pan American Health Organisation, Bogota D.C. – Colombia
  4. 4Pan American Health Organisation, Washington, D.C, USA


Introduction Interpret perceptions of Colombian health professionals concerning factors that obstruct and facilitate the introduction of rapid syphilis and HIV testing in prena­tal care services.

Methods A qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews was carried out. A convenience sample was selected with 37 participants, who included health professio­nals involved in prenatal care services, programs for pregnant women, clinical labora­tories, and directors of health care units or centres, as well as representatives from regional departments and the Ministry of Health.

Results Colombia does not do widespread screening with rapid syphilis and HIV tests in prenatal care. The professionals interviewed stated they did not have prior experience in the use of rapid tests—except for laboratory staff—or in the course of action in response to a positive result. The insurance system hinders access to timely diagnosis and treatment. Health authorities perceive a need to review existing stan­dards, strengthen the first level of care, and promote comprehensive prenatal care starting with contracts between insurers and health service institutional providers. Participants recommended staff training and integration between health-policy­making and academic entities for updating training programs

Conclusion The market approach and the characteristics of the Colombian health system constitute the main barriers to implementation of rapid testing as a strategy for elimination of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis and HIV. Measures identified include making changes in contracts between insurers and health service institutional providers, adapting the timing and duration of prenatal care procedures, and training physicians and nurses involved in prenatal care.

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