|IMAI Training, 5-9 November 2012|
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) conducted an IMAI workshop from 5 to9 November, 2012 at the Ocean View Hotel, Liliendaal as part of the scale up activity of the public health initiative which has had its genesis and adoption in Guyana since 2006 and which is a part of the broader effort to strengthen the integration of the HIV and chronic diseases services at primary health care level.
The opening session of the workshop was chaired by Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez Munoz, PAHO/WHO FCH/HIV Advisor whereas the welcome was done by Dr. Karen Cummings, the IMAI Coordinator, from the Ministry of Health (MOH) who not only applauded and thanked the financiers, the moral supporters and stakeholders like PAHO, MOH and Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), but appreciated the efforts made by the Regional Health Officers to put systems in place to facilitate this special IMAI training. She welcomed the participants to a highly innovative, culturally relevant and mutually beneficial workshop.
Dr Beverley Barnett, the PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana delivered the key message to the participants. She reiterated the need to decentralize and scale up HIV services and strengthen the Primary Health Care System (PHC). She posited that comprehensive and quality care should be given to Persons Living with HIV (PLWH) and efforts should be made to continue facilitating universal access to care, treatment and prevention of HIV by integrating clinical management of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis into the regular clinic schedules of the existing health services.
She encouraged the participants to embraced the integrated approach to chronic care as they strive to prepare, to inform and motivate the health team, community partners and patients and their families about self-monitoring of key symptoms and treatments in addition to when to return for follow –up according to agreed plan. She challenged the healthcare workers to make full use of the training which entailed hard work so that they can apply knowledge learned for to recognize and provide the basic management of Opportunistic Infections and HIV related conditions.
The objectives of the workshop were:-
1) To train Health Workers from Region 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the five Modules of IMAI strategy which were available for IMAI Training and implementation namely: - a) Acute Care, for adolescents and adults; b) Chronic HIV Care, with antiretroviral therapy (ART); c) General Principles of Good Chronic Care; d) Palliative Care, addressing symptom management and end of life care and e) TB/HIV Co- management;
2) To prepare the care givers to provide Basic Anti retroviral treatment including Clinical Care and Acute Care at the primary care level and
3) To guide the health professionals on communication skills in their management of patients who are HIV positive.
These objectives were carried out through lecture, breakout sessions, role playing, multimedia materials and question and answer sessions by facilitators from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) and the Davis’ Memorial Hospital. The current Treatment guideline for Management of HIV-Infected and HIV-Exposed Adults and Children was presented by the National AIDS Program Secretariat (NAPS).
Topics varied from the Introduction to HIV/AIDS and opportunistic Infections, HIV and ARV Drugs, Adherence and Resistance, Prophylaxis to Communication and the Co- management of Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV.
The participants were happy for the training and promised to seek every opportunity to remain on the cutting edge of TB/HIV Co-Management. Their expectations were surpassed and they pledged as a next step to share the information with colleagues, to use the given tools, and to implement and integrate acquired best practices in day to day operations at their health locations in the various Regions.
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