ICAP News - January 2010

INCI Workshop Bolsters Nursing Education and Retention

The ICAP Nurse Capacity Initiative (INCI), in collaboration with the ICAP Center of Excellence (ICOE) at the University of Fort Hare, recently hosted the first ICOE international workshop in Swaziland. Nurses from Swaziland, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and South Africa shared experiences and challenges in delivering HIV services and developed strategies for improving nursing education and retention. Topics focused on pre-service, in-service, mentorship, and nurse retention in HIV care.

Each of the countries represented at the conference developed their own workplans for 2010, which included putting forth new educational curricula, as well as national materials for HIV services.

“The workshop brought to life the growing network of nurses,” said INCI Program Director Jennifer Dohrn. “Now we have a collective voice and a way to share best practices to further empower us as caregivers."

At the workshop, Dr. Tesfamicael Ghebrehiwet of the International Council of Nurses facilitated a session on nursing leadership, with the aim of encouraging nurses to take a stronger role in shaping HIV and public health policies.
Also attending the workshop were the Swaziland Minister of Health Benedict Xaba, U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland Earl Irving, and members of the Swaziland Parliament.

In addition to training and mentorship, INCI aims to bolster the nursing workforce through policy advocacy and efforts to enhance nurse retention. INCI is a collaboration among the University of Fort Hare Department of Nursing Sciences in South Africa, the Columbia University School of Nursing, and the International Council of Nursing. ICOE promotes communications, networking, and technical assistance among nurses.

Photo caption: INCI workshop conference participants

Training in Rapid HIV Testing of Children Introduced in Tanzania

Point-of-service rapid HIV testing has been introduced at five high-volume ICAP-
supported sites in Pwani Region, Tanzania, to improve identification of HIV-exposed infants and HIV-infected children.

Infants and children can now receive HIV tests wherever they are seen at the health facilities and those found to have a positive rapid HIV test are immediately referred for care and treatment. In Tanzania, more than half of hospital admissions in in-patients wards are HIV related.

An analysis conducted by ICAP in Pwani revealed low pediatric HIV testing rates at Tumbi Hospital, Chalinze Health Center, Kisarawe, Kuranga, and Bagamoyo District Hospitals due to a lack of training and staff shortages. Training was provided for 20 health care workers on rapid HIV tests and dried blood spot collections, as well as the importance of early infant diagnosis and issues related to testing and counseling.

“All staff can conduct these tests at any shift now,” said Dorcas Barashikwa, Matron of Tumbi Regional Hospital. “This will play a big role in helping us achieve our goals for increasing pediatric HIV testing.”

For more about ICAP-Tanzania, visit here.

HIV/Tuberculosis Education Campaign Launched in Tanzania

As part of a larger tuberculosis (TB)/HIV educational campaign, ICAP-Tanzania recently supported a 10-day training on TB/HIV care and treatment education for 60 members of the MKUTA Association, a non-governmental organization focused on addressing both HIV and TB.

Participants practiced delivering TB/HIV educational messages to more than 500 people in the Dar es Salaam community and at health facilities. They also conducted individual HIV counseling sessions, identified suspected TB patients, and facilitated their referral to the laboratory for sputum tests.

The initiative aims to improve awareness of TB/HIV among the general population, prevent TB transmission at the community and health facility levels, decrease stigma, and empower communities so they can help control infections.

The MKUTA Association will help facilitate the establishment of TB clubs composed of people living with HIV who have been successfully treated for TB. Once trained, volunteers at the club will lead educational activities through existing community-based organizations, local associations of people living with HIV, and peer educator programs.

Photo caption: As part of the TB/HIV education campaign, flyers were distributed on proper cough hygiene and TB signs and symptoms.

For more about ICAP-Tanzania, visit here.

Mozambique Inaugurates Two Renovated HIV Model Centers

Integration of HIV care and treatment with maternal and child health, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services is an important goal that ICAP has supported through programs in Mozambique with the Ministry of Health. Two such facilities recently inaugurated expanded and renovated facilities at Jose Macamo and 25 de Setembro in Maputo.

As model centers, these facilities evaluate innovative approaches to HIV prevention and service provision and provide hands-on training opportunities for maternal and child health care providers, including clinical mentoring. Within both model centers, HIV care and treatment services for children and adults have been fully integrated into the primary health care services. Additional renovations were also made to the existing Jose Macamo health center facility to accommodate and enhance the integration of services.

“I would especially like to thank the U.S. government for its support through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ICAP,” said the Maputo City Governor Rosa da Silva.

In addition to renovations of the model centers, infrastructure improvements were also recently made to Nampula Central Hospital in the Northern province of Nampula to accommodate integrated HIV care and treatment.

Photo caption: Maputo City Governor Rosa da Silva displays the ceremonial ribbon at the dedication of the expanded and renovated model center at Jose Macamo in Maputo.

For more about ICAP-Mozambique, visit here.

ICAP Epidemiologist Selected for Inaugural Class of Mailman School Technology Fellows

Rosalind Carter, an epidemiologist in the ICAP Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, has been selected for the inaugural class of the Mailman School of Public Health’s Technology Fellows. The fellowships are designed to foster effective and creative approaches to public health education. Through the program, Fellows refine existing practices, explore new teaching modalities, and experiment with technology that supports exceptional learning outcomes. Fellows represent a broad range of interests and teaching experience at the Mailman School. At ICAP, Carter focuses on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and pediatric issues.

Haiti Relief

For those who wish to support relief efforts in Haiti, contributions are welcomed by the following organizations: Medicins Sans Frontiers, Partners in Health, World Food Programme, American Red Cross, and US Fund for UNICEF.