HIVAIDS Portal/IAS/Education for Health Care Workers
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ICASA 2008 Education Programme: Scaling-Up Treatment Delivery Programmes: Issues, Challenges and Best Practices
An Education Programme for health care workers was held in Dakar, Senegal on 2-7 December 2008. 16 young health care workers from 10 different countries in Africa were selected to participate in a week-long education programme, looking at the issues, challenges and best practices of scaling-up HIV treatment delivery programmes.
The group included doctors, nurses, clinic managers running programs serving more than 100 patients a day.
The programme began with a pre-conference seminar, where expert faculty provided updates on HIV treatment from a public health approach, particularly addressing mothers and children. They also considered the possibilities of task-shifting in their clinics, comparing their own practice with WHO guidelines. Dr Debrework Zewdie, World Bank Vice-President, stressed the importance of those on the frontline conducting research on scaling-up ARV treatment in resource-limited settings. By discussing their case-studies, they shared experiences on how clinicians could deal with challenges such as maintaining adherence, risk reduction, family planning and alternative medicines. At the end of the seminar, a panel discussion with social scientists and community activists provided these young clinicians with insights on how the social context influences - and is influenced by - the introduction of scaling-up innovations. We closed the seminar by reflecting on what the social context means for health care workers, appreciating that for health care workers to respond effectively to scaling-up treatment would require them to develop into reflective practitioners, continually learning from practice.
The Education Programme is part of Health Professional Development initiatives and contributes towards the long term goal of building capacity of health care workers towards realising universal access to treatment by 2010.