Education and training are major components of all of our COE programs. Our aim is to expand the pool of health, teaching and other professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively identify, treat and/or care for HIV infected children, adolescents and young adults. During the reporting period, training was provided at pre-service and in-service levels with financial support from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development and CDC-PEPFAR. The main activities were Pediatric KITSO Training, the COE Visiting Scholars Program, Continuing Medical Education series (CMEs) and finalization of Teacher Training workshops.
Pediatric KITSO targets physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and other health professionals. The course is conducted over a period of five days at ART sites across Botswana.
Over the past year, 10 pediatric KITSO courses were delivered reaching 298 professionals drawn mainly from government hospitals and clinics. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Botswana- Baylor COE reviewed the pediatric KITSO curriculum content to match changes in national treatment guidelines and the evolving treatment and care needs of HIV infected children as they transition into adolescence and young adulthood. Future trainings will highlight the role of health workers in the achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 global treatment target to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020.
During 2014/15, 122 medical students, residents, fellows and other health professionals visited the COE from various training programs in Botswana and from around the globe. These visiting scholars spent most of their time in the COE shadowing and working alongside experienced care providers. They also participated in a lecture series, a condensed version of the week-long Pediatric KITSO Training. Some scholars presented articles at Journal Club or helped with ongoing studies and quality improvement activities. Visiting scholars were also afforded opportunities to participate in Teen Club activities, in pediatric KITSO training, or work at outreach sites alongside the outreach team, and/or spend time in wards at Princess Marina Hospital.
School staff training provided pre-service and in-service school teachers with basic information on paediatric HIV/ AIDS in order to empower them to provide a friendly and supportive school environment for HIV-infected and affected children. The training was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MOESD) with funding from National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA).
The training design was informed by the results of the 2011 “Voice Survey,” a cross-sectional psychosocial survey of HV-infected and affected school-age children in Botswana. The project which targeted all teachers reached 96% of all primary and secondary schools. The project adopted a cascading training-of-trainers (TOT) model to teach Guidance and Counselling Teachers who in turn conducted workshops for teachers in their schools. The project monitoring and evaluation report shows significant increase and retention of knowledge on paediatric HIV/AIDS. The COE team would like to express appreciation to the MOESD management and staff for their extraordinary commitment to this important project. The health, safety and wellbeing of HIV infected children in schools – a place most children spent majority of their time - are of immense interest to us all as health workers and educators.
Some quotes from school teachers:
“These workshops have been a move to the right direction by the MOESD and its partner Botswana-Baylor. If schools implement their role as recommended by the training, they may be able to retain HIV infected children in schools because their needs would be met; hence they would find it a perfect place to be”
-Teacher, Chobe Junior Secondary School, Chobe Region
“The presentations have taken us a step ahead. We have learned how to handle our customers both affected and infected, and how to conduct some topics without hurting them. Hope we are going to use this information in our classrooms. We are in a better position to guide and advise our clients”. - Teacher, Mmaradu Primary School, NE Region
The COE continues to upgrade and expand its services for tuberculosis care for children in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Major components of that effort include improved diagnostic capacity, health worker education, mentorship, enhancing collaborative partnerships and patient education. During the reporting period, 62 clinicians were trained in Mahalapye, Selibe-Phikwe, Francistown and Palapye. In Botswana, 3 new sites were provided with sputum induction and started to provide this vital service. On invitation by the BIPAI centre in Swaziland, our team trained a group of 30 clinicians from the centre and other health facilities. The post training evaluation results shows high appraisals including relevance of content (94.4%); presenter knowledge/expertise (92.6%); and presenter’s ability to make points clearly (96.8%). With the end of CDC-PEPFAR support, there are plans for the project to be continued and expanded under a new funding mechanism by Botswana National TB Program.