Resources for Healthcare Providers in Rural Zimbabwe
Your Support Helped Fund HIV Management Training for Health Workers in Zimbabwe
Did you know that your patronage of CIRCLE CARE Center supports programs both locally and abroad? Read more below about a recent project undertaken by CIRCLE CARE Center’s parent organization, World Health Clinicians lead by Board of Directors Member, Dr. Paola Greiger Zanlungo.
Zimbabwe has one of the highest adult HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa at 13.3%, with 1.3 million people living with HIV in 2017. Women are disproportionately affected, particularly adolescent girls and young adults. However, there are growing epidemics among key populations such as sex workers and men who have sex with men who are at higher risk of HIV. National data on these populations is sparse as only a minimal amount of data is collected and reported in national documents. Zimbabwe is one of the sub-Saharan African countries with the greatest access to antiretroviral treatment (ART), with 84% of all people living with HIV on treatment. In 2016, the country adopted a ‘treat all’ policy towards ART, meaning all people should be started on treatment immediately, regardless of their CD4 count. It is thought that 9,000 people are initiating treatment every month. Zimbabwe is scaling up viral load testing, which is key to measuring viral suppression.
Against this background, it is essential that healthcare workers are adequately equipped for the management of HIV infection. There is a growing need for ongoing training of doctors and nurses on various key issues in HIV management. There is an even greater need for this training in smaller cities and rural areas of the country where educational resources are scarce for healthcare professionals. To address this need, World Health Clinicians has committed to fund one-day HIV training workshops for healthcare workers in small cities and rural areas of Zimbabwe. These workshops target clinicians from outside the large cities and are done with the support of the district health executives. These trainings take place every other month and are facilitated by Dr. Chimbatete of the Newfoundland Clinic as well as World Health Clinicians’ Board of Directors Member, Dr. Paola Greiger Zanlungo.
“Programs like these are essential in a country like Zimbabwe where access to educational resources is limited. Our goal is to help medical professionals in Zimbabwe provide the best possible care to patients living with HIV.” – Dr. Paola Greiger Zanlungo
To date trainings have been successfully done in two districts, Nyanga and Chinhoyi. The trainings focused on the following key HIV management issues:
- Antiretroviral medicines: 1st, 2nd and 3rd line regimens
- Monitoring of patients on ART for toxicity, adherence and treatment success
- Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV
- HIV drug resistance
A total of 87 clinicians (doctors and nurses) identified by the District Nursing Officer have attended the trainings to date. Clinicians were very grateful for the trainings as they felt that previous trainings only benefitted those in the main cities and towns. Each training workshop costs an average of $3000. The following is a quote from one of the district Nursing Officers:
“Thank you very much World Health Clinicians for coming to Nyanga. This was a great day of learning. Our nurses and doctors have learnt a lot today and this will help us improve the care we give our patients”
About World Health Clinicians
World Health Clinicians (WHC) was founded in January, 2011 and is the parent organization of CIRCLE CARE Center and HIV Equal. The mission of WHC is to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, and to reduce the associated morbidity and mortality in the developed and developing worlds through treatment, patient advocacy, assistance and education.
About CIRCLE CARE Center
Circle Care Center (CCC) was founded on January 1, 2011 and is a division of World Health Clinicians. CCC is located in Norwalk, CT alongside its URAC accredited specialty pharmacy (Circle Care Center Pharmacy). CCC provides primary care, sexual health services, HIV treatment, STI testing and treatment, LGBTQ healthcare, and mental health services. CCC was part of the strategy to unite MFAP (lower Fairfield County's Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS Service Organization) and Triangle Community Center (TCC - Fairfield County's leading provider of LGBT programming and resources) together under one roof to better serve the local HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ communities in Southwestern Connecticut and the surrounding areas.