A hundred health workers from across the country have undegone a one-week HIV/Aids care and treatment refresher training organised by University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The training was organised to give opportunity to doctors and nurses to get up-to-date information and knowledge in key skills such as counselling, disclosure of results, according to Prof. Patrick Kyamanywa, the dean of School of Medicine and Pharmacy.
“HIV/Aids knowledge evolves on a fairly rapid pace. For our doctors to keep up-to-date with the current evidence, they need renewal of that knowledge in our continuous professional development programme,” he said.
Kyamanywa added that despite Rwanda having a low HIV prevalence rate in the region, there is need for health providers to offer quality treatment to the patients.
“We want to ensure that healthcare providers are knowledgeable so that patients can get quality treatment and minimise side effects that come as a result of misuse of drugs because they now know which drugs to use and when to use them,” he said.
The training ended last week with a call on health workers to treat HIV-positive persons with dignity.
Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the head of HIV department at Rwanda Biomedical Centre, lauded the organisers for the training and called for more online courses.
He challenged the School to incorporate similar courses for HIV treatment and care for students so that they enter the service fully equipped with the skills.
Carmen Franse, the project manager Health (e) Foundation and one of the main facilitators, said there was need to equip more health workers with knowledge on paediatric HIV so they can prescribe emergency drugs.
“Many health workers lack knowledge on some topics like how to give proper care to their patients but we hope that this course has been an eye opener for them and have broadened their knowledge in areas of HIV treatment, they can now make early diagnosis of HIV and recognise symptoms of opportunistic infections and side effects of ARVs.”
The country’s target is to reduce mother-to-child transmission, currently at 5 per cent, to below 2 per cent by 2015.