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Volume VIII Issue 7
Key Learnings from PATA 2013 East Africa Regional Forum
Team PATA @ ICASA 2013
PATA Network Clinic Success Stories
20th International AIDS Conference 2014: Stepping up the Pace
Six Month Progress Report Due in February 2014
Opportunities for PATA Network Members
WHO Consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection (2013)
PATA would like to wish the PATA network, donors and supporters a prosperous 2014. May we all continue to improve the lives of HIV-affected children in Africa!
1. Key Learnings from PATA 2013 East Africa Regional Forum
The PATA 2013 East Africa Regional Forum had 128 delegates in attendance
(20 multi-disciplinary teams from six East African countries). For the first time, expert patients/community health workers formed the 5th member of each multi-disciplinary team (together with the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and counsellors).
The forum theme was ‘2015 and Beyond: Barriers, Bottlenecks and Solutions’. It focussed on the Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 in response to paediatric HIV treatment and care in East Africa.
Frontline healthcare workers participated in activities ranging from plenary sessions where technical input was provided, to that of smaller group work in their professional and clinic teams.
Additional masterclasses and special sessions expanded opportunities for capacity building. The programme also covered nutrition and breast feeding, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, ART and the management of co-infections such as malaria and tuberculosis.
Key learnings from the Forum were:
The integration of nutrition programmes into HIV/TB and malaria services
Sharing the correct and factual informations whilst challenging the misconceptions around HIV, nutrition and breastfeeding
Developing adolescent specific services that are responsive to the needs of adolescents and provide a range of comprehensive services that include sexual and reproductive health services
Meaningful engagement with adolescents living with HIV was highlighted, together with the importance of separating one’s personal judgements and values which often create barriers in providing the required service
The important contribution of community engagement in supporting retention in care through various adherence support activities as well as monitoring and tracing patients that are lost to follow up
By the end of the forum, team members had developed their own clinic quality improvement goals and had contributed to their own individual pledges. Everyone supported the call to action in improving the quality of paediatric and adolescent friendly HIV services within their health facilities. Multidisciplinary teamwork was stressed as the key to bringing about effective change. The forum ended on a positive note and all participating teams left feeling empowered and motivated to reach out and “pata-pata” (touch) the lives of patients and communities they serve.
2. Team PATA @ ICASA 2013
In December 2013, Cape Town (South Africa) hosted the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA 2013), the largest scientific conference of its kind on the continent. The theme of the conference – ‘Now More than Ever: Targeting Zero’ – was derived from the UNAIDS vision of striving for ‘Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths’.
In addition to serving as a platform for the international community to exchange knowledge, skills and best practices, ICASA 2013 was an important opportunity to mobilize leaders, partners and communities to strengthen our collective commitment to the AIDS response in Africa. PATA’s presence at the conference included two poster presentations: ‘HIV practitioner understanding and implementation of paediatric palliative care in Southern Africa and Nigeria: Observations from the frontline’; and ‘The impact of employing people living with HIV as community health workers in paediatric and adolescent HIV services in sub-Saharan Africa: Expert Patient Programme 2007-2013’. These posters were exhibited by Heleen Soeters and Papy Clement Nkubizi respectively.
ICASA 2013 reminds us (at PATA) that Africa and the global community have made significant strides in the AIDS response. While pivotal work remains, we simply cannot lose momentum in realizing the vision of an AIDS-free generation in Africa.
There is still a need for accelerated action to reach the Millennium Development Goal of scaling up HIV treatment to 15 million people by 2015. Achieving this goal will require new ways of thinking, an expansion of community-led initiatives and a patient-centred approach.
Key messages focussing on children that emerged from ICASA were highlighted by Luann Hatane, Senior Programmes Manager at PATA as a collective call to re – prioritize paediatric HIV given the high % of children in comparison to adults who are not accessing ART. Adolescents’ are experiencing higher rates of loss to follow up in care whilst also demonstrating an increasing HIV incidence in relation to other age groups. Emphasis on overcoming barriers to the provision of a full range of sexual, reproductive health services as well as greater support for key populations within this age group was made.
Integration of social determinant and early childhood development objectives in HIV programming as a means to improve health outcomes and increased retention in care was highlighted. Greater evidence and best practise is however needed in this area with child protection needing to be centrally integrated. Gender based violence was presented as a key driver as well as a consequence to HIV with domestic violence greatly impacting adherence but sadly there was limited attention, best practise case studies or data available on children. Given the focus on key populations in HIV programming it would be important to call for greater attention on children within key population who are particularly vulnerable.
3. PATA Network Clinic Success Stories
Newlands Clinic in Zimbabwe established a ‘Boys Support Group’ and conducted capacity building sessions for Expert Patients. The Boys Support Group is a platform for HIV + boys to discuss issues affecting them. Topics such as suicide, treatment adherence, the proper use male of condoms, erectile dysfunction and alcohol abuse have already been topics of discussion in the support group.
The capacity building sessions with Expert Patients covered basic counselling skills, report writing and self-care. Expert Patients are given an opportunity to report various counselling cases they have dealt with and as a collective group and with support of a supervisor are able to work as a team to establish improved strategies and methods in their counselling
Andara ART Clinic in Namibia organized a ‘PATA Kids’ Day’ in December 2013 – 87 children and 63 parents/caregivers attended. This awareness raising event was used as a vehicle to convey important information with children and their parents/caregivers regarding side effects of none adherence to treatment, disclosure, family planning, myths and misconception about HIV and AIDS.
Both children and their parents/caregivers were entertained with music, indoor games and a quiz. Andara ART Clinic is currently providing care to more than 100 children infected with HIV.
Congratulations to Newlands Clinic and Andara ART Clinic for these initiatives!
4. 20th International AIDS Conference 2014: Stepping up the Pace
The 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS2014) will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 20-25 July 2014. The conference theme is ‘Stepping up the Pace’. AIDS2014 is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic.
It is a chance to evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward. More than 16 000 delegates are expected to attend the conference.
AIDS2014 will present new scientific knowledge and offer opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV.
The deadline for abstract submissions and scholarship applications is on 6 February 2014. For more information, please visit: http://www.aids2014.org/Default.aspx?pageId=676
5. Three Month Progress Report Due in February 2014
All clinics who attended the PATA 2013 East African Regional Forum in November are reminded that their three month team grid progress reports are due on 15 February 2014. Please send all reports to email@example.com
6. Opportunities for PATA Network Members to apply for the 5th Symposium on Children and HIV-July 18th & 19th 2014, Melbourne, Australia
The Teresa Group, the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS (CCABA) and local hosts Living Positive Victoria and Straight Arrows are jointly hosting a two-day international symposium on Children and HIV: Start Early, Start Now – Integrated interventions for young children born into HIV-affected families.
This symposium will examine integrated approaches that focus on early childhood and HIV. It will create a forum for service providers, donors, researcher, advocates and policy leaders to share information and build consensus about best practices for early interventions for children and families.
This event will offer over 100 full scholarships and registration. Team PATA encourages network members to submit abstracts and apply for scholarships. This event is one of the few unique opportunities to showcase the amazing work you are doing in paediatric care. The call for abstracts and scholarship application closes the 16th March 2014.
For more information on abstract submission, registration and scholarship application, please click: http://www.teresagroup.ca/melbourne/index.html
7. WHO consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection, 2013
The WHO’s 2013 consolidated (updated) guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection has been published.
The ARV regimens now available, even in the poorest countries, are safer, simpler, more efficient and more affordable than ever before. New testing strategies and approaches are enabling earlier diagnosis of HIV in a wider range of settings, and more affordable technologies for monitoring people receiving ART are becoming available.
The WHO guidelines can be downloaded here: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/arv2013/download/en/index.html
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