Health workers trained in caring for persons living with AIDS
Guyana Chronicle
February 24, 2007

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Health care workers in Region 5 (Mahaica/Berbice) during the week benefited from a training program to help them take better care of persons living with AIDS.

The program by the Guyana National Training Co-ordination Centre (GYNTCC) for HIV/AIDS on Thursday was funded by the US Presidentís Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health at the Boardroom of the Regional Democratic Council at Fort Wellington.

Resource persons were from the GYNTCC, the Ministry and the National Aids Program Secretariat (NAPS).

The attending staff nurses, mid-wives, nursing assistants, MEDEX , Community Health workers and data entry personnel were briefed on HIV and its management, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), dealing with the problem of stigma and discrimination, and nutrition and HIV AIDS .

Resource persons included Dr Moses Bateganya, Director of Care and Treatment at the Francois Xavier Bagnoud Centre (FXB) HIV/AIDS Guyana; Ms Deborah Success-Hall National Voluntary Counseling and Testing

(VCT) Co-ordinator NAPS; Mrs Norma Howard, Director of Food Policy Unit, MOH; Mrs Negla Brandis National Trainer GYNTCC; and Ms Venus Smartt Regional Health Officer (RHO) Region 5.

The resource personnel stressed the importance of encouraging strict adherence to treatment protocols such as the ingestion of the correct dosages of Anti Retrovirals (ARVS) at the correct timings.

The workshop also discussed several approaches to the reduction of stigma and discrimination against persons infected with the disease and the encouragement of others to take the test.

Cordinator of the GYNTCC Ms Cheryl Morgan said that its main aim was improved capacity-building.

She said that the GYNTCC had been established to work with the Ministry as a national co-ordinating training body to prevent overtraining or duplication of training of local HIV task force personnel.

Similar training programs have been held for the benefit of health care workers in Regions 2 and 4.

Ms Morgan disclosed that the GYNTCC will continue its mandate for developing highly trained health care workers countrywide until this aspect of the Guyana HIV AIDS response program comes to an end in 2009.

The Regional Health Department of Region 5
(Mahaica/Berbice) will continue its medical outreach program to outlying areas during March .

The villages to benefit from visits by health teams are Little Biaboo, Mahaica River, High/Dam DeHoop, Mahaica, Burma Mahaicony, Mora Point Mahaicony and Moraikobai Mahaicony, Regional Health Officer Ms Venus Smartt disclosed.

Ms Smartt said that in these outreaches, a doctor and other health care workers, including nursing assistants and pharmacy assistants, travel to the targeted communities, using land or water transport, conduct medical examinations and issue medications and advisories to those who need them.

The visits last for one day.
She revealed that the areas to be visited this month and the dates are as follows: Little Biaboo March 5th, High Dam/DeHoop March 12th , Burma March 21st , Mora Point March 23rd and Moraikobai March 30th.

The RHO said that the program is similar to one held during January and February of this year. Other outreaches are scheduled to these and other outlying communities for at least once a month during the remainder of 2007.