Integrating gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes care into primary health care: Lessons from prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in South Africa - A mixed methods study

Jean Claude Mutabazi, Pascal Roland Enok Bonong, Helen Trottier, Lisa Jayne Ware, Shane A Norris, Katherine Murphy, Naomi Levitt, Christina Zarowsky
PloS One 2021, 16 (1): e0245229

BACKGROUND: Implementation of the programmes for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) into antenatal care over the last three decades could inform implementation of interventions for other health challenges such as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). This study assessed PMTCT outcomes, and how GDM screening, care, and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) prevention were integrated into PMTCT in Western Cape (WC), South Africa.

METHODS: A convergent mixed methods and triangulation design were used. Content and thematic analysis of PMTCT-related policy documents and of 30 semi-structured interviews with HIV/PMTCT experts, health care workers and women under PMTC diagnosed with GDM complement quantitative longitudinal analysis of PMTCT implementation indicators across the WC for 2012-2017.

RESULTS: Provincial PMTCT and Post Natal Care (PNC) documents emphasized the importance of PMTCT, but GDM screening and T2DM prevention were not covered. Data on women with both HIV and GDM were not available and GDM screening was not integrated into PMTCT. Women who attended HIV counselling and testing annually increased at 17.8% (95% CI: 12.9% - 22.0%), while women who delivered under PMTCT increased at 3.1% (95% CI: 0.6% - 5.9%) annually in the WC. All 30 respondents favour integrating GDM screening and T2DM prevention initiatives into PMTCT.

CONCLUSION: PMTCT programmes have not yet integrated GDM care. However, Western Cape PMTCT integration experience suggests that antenatal GDM screening and post-partum initiatives for preventing or delaying T2DM can be successfully integrated into PMTCT and primary care.

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