Find your nearest PATA-affiliated clinic or hospital below:
A Public Benefit Organisation
PBO No. 930034219
NPO No. 090-092
We are grateful for the privilege to be part of the Botswana PATA forum. One thing that stood out for me in the forum, especially the professional meetings was that the challenges faced in our workplaces are the same whichever country you come from. There is also a lot of effort to be put into having adolescent - friendly clinics in many of the facilities represented. It was also clear from the master-classes that however meagre the resources a facility has, they can be used effectively to achieve an expected outcome. Thank you for opening our eyes. Last week we held our monthly CCC meeting and gave our clinic members a feedback from the trip and made known to them the activities we plan to work on as per the team grid. We are also in the process of ensuring all the computers in the clinic have a copy of the PATA DVDs and materials on the desktop to refer to them if need be.
Dr Patricia Onguti, Trasmara, Kenya 2011
For the team and many of the participants, this year's forum was a huge success. To us there were many new faces and also new energy and new ideas. The conference proceeded at a high speed that kept the participant very alert and interested. The variety of the presentations and masterclasses made the forum to be one of the best. The introduction of yoga classes this time around, is a good idea, since these lessons could be used to help health worker reduce stress in their workplaces. It was also fun.
We said the forum proceeded fast this time; but we are happy that each and everything that happened in the forum was recorded and given to us in that flash disk that we are sure we will reference time and again. The books and other materials given to us will be kept and used at our centre for the benefit of all, including those who work in other departments of the hospital (we have already ensured this).
As a team, we have agreed that we learned a new thing in the master class on palliative care. In this presentation we learned that palliative care was not “End of life care” as many people think; but rather, care that begins when diagnosis is made, and that it's a care that relieves suffering and does not end when a patient dies, it may continue with the family. In this, the team has promised to make a change!
Frank Samwel, SongeaA CTC. Tanzania
"Our clinic is noisy now, because the children are happy and playing."
Dr Hilda Kizito, JCRC, 2010 (Describing the effect of their PATA-funded community health worker programme, which was first introduced at the 2006 PATA Forum)
"The PATA 2010 East Africa Forum has strengthened my hope of seeing a world without HIV/AIDS. It's evident that the fight against AIDS is global and can't be achieved single-handedly. There is continued need to share information, experiences and strategies to achieve higher targets. Scientifically, there is new information each day and such fora offer an opportunity for medical workers to share evidence and recommend best practice to enhance service delivery. The PATA Forum should continue to grow and annually gather service providers to enhance their knowledge, skills and motivation in order to strive for excellence in service delivery. Long live PATA, long live Team PATA!"
Andrew Ayoo, Pharmacist, TASO, 2010
"The 2010 PATA East Africa Forum is a great process all the way through from programme arrangement to time keeping. I learned a lot from the Forum. I interacted with health workers across East Africa, shared common problems and possible solutions which I am going to practice as well as disseminated this great information to other satellite sites."
Paul Waliaula, Doctor, Vihiga District Hospital, 2010
"Thanks to PATA for such a wonderful Forum that brings East Africans together for the good of HIV+ children. Thank you!"
Elizabeth Rapando, Nurse, Vihiga District Hospital, 2010
"The conference has been a wonderful experience overall. I have learned so much from the presentations and the exchange of ideas during the workshops.. I enjoyed the workshops very much, both the professional and teams. I learned a lot from the other clinicians on the experiences they have had in their clinics and I have borrowed many ideas that my teammates and I are looking forward to implementing. The conference was very well organised overall. We kept time well. The food was also good."
Julie Kadima, Doctor, FACES, 2010
"The experience of representing my CTC to this international Forum has been very good. I have been able to learn and share many new things that I used to take for granted. The East Africa Forum has taught us things we will go back and implement immediately. We thank PATA for having us, and the sponsors who funded us through the Forum. Thank you to PATA and Miracle Corners of the World for having made this possible!"
Frank Samwel Silayo, Pharmacist, 2010
"I learned much from the experiences share by the various health care teams from different countries, as well as from the expert lectures and 'masterclasses'."
Elizabeth Obimbo, Doctor and PATA Steering Committee Member, ACTS/University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital:
"A very well organised meeting with a structured approach where problems were discussed and brought out by the participants with help from specialised speakers. We gained a lot of experience from other clinics in the region, just as we shared a lot of our experiences. We hope to put this borrowed knowledge into practice...The Forum is a relaxed environment enabling all participants to engage actively. The hospitality was very good and the PATA staff was very useful and available all the time. Thank you PATA."
Dr Polycarp Mandi, Paediatrician, 2010
"We from Bungoma were very happy about the 2010 PATA East Africa Forum. We have learned a lot on disclosing to children and adolescents, advanced ARV therapy, infant and young child feeding and many more topics. We've learned from different multi-disciplinary teams from different countries that attended the Forum. We were pleased with the welcome that you gave us and the hospitality. Above all, we've learned a lot and will go back and educate other colleagues in our clinic so as to improve the health of our children and adolescents as health indicators in our country."
Lorna Anjimni, Nurse, 2010
"It is difficult to separate your private life from your professional life as a counsellor. One should try to separate experiences in your private world from your professional world and we must respect the ethical demands of our professions." - Alexia Kayirangwa, counselor, Rwanda.
"Once your work has an impact outside your workplace, it affects your family life. Sometimes I feel like quitting. We do our best and sometimes a patient still dies. That affects me. We need support structures."?- Lulana Gqamana, nurse. "We should not underestimate the children. There was this one four year-old at my clinic who knew his exact dosage off by heart. And a nine year-old who knew all his medicines by name." - Tebogo Tshengiwe, nurse
"I am inspired by the system of expert patients and want introduce it back home in Cote D'Ivoire. It took me three days to travel to the PATA conference in Swaziland, but it was well worth it." - Francois Akattia, nurse, Cote D'Ivoire.
"You must look after yourself as nurses, because if you don't, and you're not there, then there'll be no-one for the patients to see." - Gertrude Guveya, Zimbabwe
"We must see the word 'expertise' in Expert Patient Programme, for they are people with expertise." - Jenny Altschuler, Family psychotherapist and member of the PATA steering committee
We are just 50 metres from the shore," Dr Charles Munthali told his audience as he described the setup at his clinic in Nkhata Bay, Malawi. Since ARV therapy was initiated at the clinic 33 months ago, 1650 patients have received treatment. The clinic has experienced many challenges, such as staff shortages, a lack of space, limited resources, and the lack of a boat which would enable the staff to reach otherwise inaccessible patients along the lake shore.
Despite these challenges Dr Munthali reported that the clinic has met several goals during 2007. They have opened two static clinics and two mobile clinics, installed a computerized data capturing system, piloted PCR for paediatric diagnosis of HIV and trained more counsellors and health workers.
I am the counsellor in charge. Patients who are referred to us first see the nurse, then they are referred to the counsellor and from the counsellor they are referred to the doctor. Often they are referred to us on discharge. We then give them information regarding the clinic and ascertain if they know why they have been referred to us. If they do not know, or do not know their status I counsel them and support them in disclosing their status to family and friends.
Do you have any other roles in the centre?
Yes, when children are referred, we also encourage the caregiver to be tested and to bring in other children for testing. It is normally the mother that brings the child in, so we also encourage her to persuade her partner to get tested.
At what age do you tell the child what you are testing for?
Well, for children who are older than five years, we ask them if they have heard about HIV. If they have, we provide them with more information and tell them that is what we are testing for. If they have not heard of HIV we just tell them we are testing their blood. However, if the child is 10 years or older, and the child is of normal intelligence and not very ill, we tell them that we are testing for HIV and obtain verbal assent. We also counsel the child. We have a support group for children 10 years and older.
How did you get involved as a health worker?
I tested positive in 1999. In Ghana, people thought if you just talked to - or touched - someone who is HIV positive that you would also become HIV positive. There were many misconceptions. I used to work at the airport. After I was diagnosed, the doctor wrote my boss a letter to say that they must reduce my workload when the work was especially tough. My boss also told everyone about my status, and I became stigmatised. When eating dinner, people would walk away from the table where I sat down. I was a public enemy, and misunderstood. I decided to leave my job and become involved. I embarked upon giving HIV testimony, talking at churches and so on.
How do you find your work as a counsellor?
In 2000, when I started to work at the hospital, there was no recruitment for HIV positive people. I decided to try and change this. We have many problems in Ghana, one of which is that we have to pay $5 a month for our ARVs. Why? I have travelled to South Africa, Uganda and Botswana and saw that they got medicine for free there, our situation should not be different. I've asked them this and then I was told that they don't have enough manpower, and that the fee helps to pay for the manpower. So I suggested that they employ more HIV positive people in the health services. We can use these people, they can help patients to administer ARVs, for example. About 5 months ago, the National AIDS Control Programme started to do this, to employ HIV positive people. But they're not being paid! This is my next battle, to get the 'volunteers' to be paid, for they must also travel to work and earn money to live from.
What have you learnt at PATA 2007?
I've learnt that we have to gather data properly in Ghana, we don't do it at all. We should also work better as teams - I'm still stigmatized by my colleagues even today, after seven years of working there. We must get more HIV positive people involved in counselling. When new patients come in, they are often so depressed and traumatised that, when someone like me, who is also HIV positive and now their counsellor, tells them this, then they already feel better, they feel they can open up and talk to you. People with HIV can change the situation on the ground.
Expanding access to care for children infected by HIV and their families throughout the African continent.
For HIV-infected and affected children in Africa to access high quality, comprehensive services including ART by 2015.
lies within compassionate and committed mulidisciplinary treatment teams.
Please click on the following link to access documents and presentations on how best to disclose HIV status to children which were kindly provided to us by Medecins Sans Frontieres.
'SAY AND PLAY'
Click here to learn and download