PEPFAR workshop participants agree its HIV/AIDS benefitsSaturday, March 21, 2009 – 9:06 am
Source: Guyana Chronicle
PARTICIPANTS in a four-day workshop ending today, to pilot the HIV Basics Curriculum for medexes in the health sector, have agreed that new avenues for training would not only boost their capabilities but facilitate networking to improve the quality of care.
The seminar was conducted in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) building on Main Street, Georgetown and attended by 20 recently trained medexes from across the country.
Nurse Gisele Moore, of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, who has been involved, the past five months in that institution’s ‘Stemming the Tide’ programme on HIV/AIDS care and treatment, said, by being part of the piloting, she will better her skills.
She would also get an opportunity to exchange views with others and gain more insight.
Another participant, medex Maria Jeffers, of Met-en-Meerzorg Health Centre, said with the programme she would be able to support the Volunteer Counselling and Testing (VCT) site counsellor.
“The health centre is a relatively small facility and I come into contact with people living with HIV/AIDS, so I will be knowledgeable enough to get involved in the counselling,” she explained.
Medex Chris Anderson, of Bartica Hospital, said, because of his direct involvement with a team that deals with HIV/AIDS, the workshop left him more equipped to deal efficiently with persons living with the disease.
Medex Carol Orna, of North East La Penitence Health Centre, echoed Anderson’s views and added that, with the new knowledge, she can deliver enhanced follow-up treatment, particularly in the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT).
Medex Doreen Warde, who is employed with Barama Company Limited (BCL), said, in her line of duty, she meets many individuals who are ignorant of the facts related to HIV but can, from now, advise, encourage and inform them.
Medex Paula Foster concurred and said, at Lethem Health Centre, she would share information with those who need it, especially miners.
However, Mr. Noel Holder, Director of the Health Science Education Unit (HSEU), urged the health workers to recognise the importance of their roles in ensuring the availability of quality health care.
He said people, wherever they are, must receive quality care and the pilot should afford the passing of information supportive existing programmes.
The workshop, funded through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was organised collaboratively by the Ministry of Health and the University of Washington International Training and Education Centre on HIV (ITECH).
The Coordinator, Ms. Wallis Best Plummer said technical assistance was provided by ITECH, Francois Xavier Bagnound Centre and the Ministry and the curriculum will focus on 16 different areas.
They include understanding HIV, communicating with clients and other providers, VCT, infection control, anti-retroviral therapy and national treatment guidelines, adherence to anti-retrovirals, opportunistic infections, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), nutrition in HIV care, PMTCT), Pediatric HIV care, Home Based Care (HBC) and Palliative Care, post-exposure prophylaxis, stigma and discrimination and stress management.
“The best trait of this curriculum is that it was developed specifically for Guyana’s health sector, which is a plus for the health workers involved,” Plummer commented.