Authors: OR Ugwu
Journal: Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics
Background : Certain researchers have reported that a child-friendly clinic may improve patient/caregiver satisfaction at clinic attendance. This could serve as an innovation for reducing loss-to-follow up and increasing retention in care. Aim : To assess the impact of making the clinic more child-friendly on clinic experience, retention in care and loss-to-follow up of HIV -infected children. Method : The study was carried out in three phases. Phase one was a satisfaction survey to find out the patient/caregivers’ satisfaction of the clinic environment and services provided using a selfadministered questionnaire. Phase two was the creation of the childfriendly environment and phase three was a post-provision of child-friendly clinic satisfaction survey. The loss-to-follow up rate (failure to return to clinic ≥3months after the last scheduled clinic appointment in a child not known to be dead or transferred out of the facility) and retention rate (remaining alive and receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy) were also determined before and after setting up the childfriendly clinic. Results : There were 146 respondents before the study and 206 respondents after the intervention. The retention rate increased from 62.5% to 82% (p=0.02), while the loss-to-follow up rate dropped from 27.7% to 7.0% (p=0.00). Conclusion : Making the clinic area child-friendly can impact greatly on HIV care by improving patient satisfaction and retention of HIVinfected children in care and reducing loss-to-follow up. Key words : HIV, child-friendly environment, retention in care, loss to follow-up.