Advocacy training – building Health Provider Champions

Health providers are effective role models that have the power to shift ideas and practices amongst their peers. Through the actions and voices of health providers we can change policies and guidelines to ensure services are  adolescent-friendly and people centred.

Health providers influence the service experience of adolescents and young people and facilitate service uptake and treatment access. Their attitude is central to whether adolescents and young people remain in care, and whether the service provider and service user, together become committed allies in an equal, trusting, open and confidential health partnership.

For the health provider to undertake advocacy efforts more intentionally and to facilitate friendlier, and more accessible and confidential services for adolescents and young people living with HIV (AYPLHIV), Paediatric – Adolescent – Treatment Africa (PATA) has developed a helpful advocacy training package for health providers. The training is being developed with support from the following donors: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of the Netherlands , ELMA Philanthropies and MAC AIDS.

This training aims to support building health providers’ capacity to advocate together with and for AYPLHIV for adolescent-friendly, and integrated SRHR/HIV health services. The training also aims to provide tools and techniques that can be used by health providers to develop and implement advocacy campaigns in their community or to drive change in their health facility.

The training will support health providers to;

  • be more aware and sensitive to the rights of AYPLHIV to access SRH services, that are convenient, confidential and free of stigma and discrimination
  • have a better understanding of the needs of young people in terms of what services they require and how they wish these to be provided
  • engage confidently and positively with AYPLHIV and to establish a strong and trusting health partnership
  • leverage the value and integrate positive peer support strategies
  • learn skills to advocate confidently to make positive changes in HIV service delivery for adolescents and young people.

The advocacy training will be delivered in a blended approach that combines group  (face to face or remote via zoom) learning with individual online virtual learning. This combination supports the learning experience for health providers; and builds on both peer-to-peer linking and learning whilst also allows one to go at ones’ own pace.

Training content includes the following modules;

  • health providers and advocacy
  • communication and facilitation skills
  • reaching out to and engaging adolescents and young people
  • SRHR and HIV integration
  • advocacy in action in the clinic, community and beyond.

Advocacy skills are transferable! Whilst the training focuses on building the capacity of health providers to  effectively support and engage AYPLHIV, provide AFHS and integrated SRHR/ HIV services, the skills learnt will be transferable across various content areas and contexts.

The training builds upon concepts and methodologies that align to PATA programmes and  strategies  and include:  comprehensive models of care, the delivery of stigma-free adolescent-friendly services,  SRHR/HIV integration, peer support, client satisfaction, and clinic-community collaboration. The training uses a range of methodologies to turn the delivery of the training into a participatory, high-impact and memorable learning experience.