PATA REAL- 22nd April 2021

PATA REAL is a new and exciting regional platform for and by health care providers working on paediatric and adolescent HIV service delivery. It is a safe space for us to share REAL, unfiltered, day-to-day experiences and challenges in case finding, testing, initiating ART, retention and supporting children and adolescents on their treatment journey to achieving viral suppression and good health and wellbeing.

This quarterly webinar series brings together health care providers for case-based practical peer-to-peer learning to improve paediatric and adolescent HIV service delivery across sub-Saharan Africa. The PATA REAL session on 22 April 2021 convened over 100 providers, many of whom work on the frontlines of the HIV response.

During the event, we heard from nurse Maxwell Madyauta from FACT, Zimbabwe. He presented a case of an 8-year-old boy living with HIV who presented underweight and with anaemia. The question for discussion was: What could have been done differently, and are there better paediatric ART formulations available?

We also heard from nurse Naluca Waluka from Chikoka Rural Health Post, Zambia. She presented a case of an adolescent whose viral load was rapidly increasing while she was adhering well to treatment. The question for discussion was: Why did the client have treatment failure when she was adhering well to treatment?

Finally, we heard a case from nurse Futhie Dlamini from Piggs Peak Government Hospital, Eswatini. She presented on a 15-year-old female living with HIV who was pregnant and had been epileptic since childhood. The client was brought into the emergency department with severe abdominal pains. It was later understood by the clinical team that the ART regimen and epilepsy treatment were interacting. This complicated case was discussed in detail by the panel of experts.

Each case was discussed in detail with a panel of experts who provided practical insights and recommendations on ways to improve and support paediatric and adolescent treatment and care. Experts were:

  • Dr Pascal Atanga, Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, Cameroon
  • Dr Mahmud Gambo, Bayero University, Nigeria
  • Dr Nandita Sughandi, ICAP at Columbia University, USA

We hope that this peer-to-peer learning will continue to grow and add value to the work of our highly appreciated frontline health care providers.

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