26 Mar 2018 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 26 MAR (NAMPA) The Ministry of Health and Social Services Monday opened its annual clinical mentorship workshop to review progress made through the programme over the past three years to end HIV.
The programme aims to address sustainability in providing needed clinical expertise and capacitate newly graduated doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacist assistants to deliver quality services in HIV management.
Speaking at the three-day workshop in the capital, Head of the HIV Programme in the ministry, Dr Ndapewa Hamunime explained that the programme is important in the management of HIV and to ensure expertise in the field.
The ministry wants to ensure that everyone dealing with HIV patients is properly trained and professional enough to handle HIV-positive patients, said Hamunime.
She noted that since the programme was implemented in 2015, clinical mentors were placed in all the regions where they visited districts to mentor health professionals on site.
Many people, especially in the rural areas, are now testing for HIV and the number of people on treatment has increased drastically as the community is well informed by well mentored nurses to fight the HIV epidemic, she said.
Speaking at the same event, United States Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Coordinator, Lela Baughman said the role of clinical mentors is important in Namibia where the vast size of the country means healthcare professionals can otherwise feel professionally isolated and detached from senior clinical support.
The programme should develop a common understanding of mentorship across regions by sharing best practices which can be replicated, she said.
She noted that PEPFAR supports 45 clinical and nurse mentors stationed throughout the country in efforts to reach the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 target.
The 90-90-90 target aims to diagnose 90 per cent of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90 per cent of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90 of those treated by 2020.