CAPACITY FOR PEDIATRIC HIV/AIDS CARE TRAINING IN UGANDA
Peter Waiswa1, 2 1 Makerere University Institute of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda
2 Iganga District Health Department, Iganga, Uganda Background:
An estimated 120,000 Ugandans have AIDS and are eligible to access antiretroviral therapy, and a crude estimate of 10% of these are children. Provision of quality care to children with HIV/AIDS greatly contributes to their survival, but scaling up of these services in developing countries is constrained due to lack of resources. HIV/AIDS care in children presents special problems: diagnosis is difficult; most die early in their first year of life; children have special counseling and drug needs; and HIV/AIDS in the child is often a diagnosis of the disease in the entire family. In Uganda, a few stakeholders have pioneered training of health workers in Pediatric HIV/AIDS. In order to prepare a national framework for coordinating Pediatric HIV-AIDS training, we assessed the capacity of Pediatric HIV/AIDS trainings provided by different stakeholders in terms of content, target, coverage and future plans. Methods:
We organized meetings with WHO, UNICEF and the Child Health Division of the Ministry of Health to identify key national stakeholders and agree on the scope of the study. A self administered questionnaire containing semi-structured questions was used to collect data from eight organizations. Data analysis was by thematic content. Results: There was a general lack of capacity to scale up Pediatric HIV/AIDS care training in Uganda. Except the Ministry of Health which offered basic courses, other stake holders had advanced courses which targeted mainly referral hospitals, leaving out Primary Health Care facilities. Trainings were not coordinated and there was no streamed mechanism for support supervision after training. Conclusion:
There is high inequity in the capacity to role out Pediatric HIV training in Uganda especially in rural areas with grave consequences to HIV positive children and their parents. The need for a coordinated process for Pediatric HIV capacity building activities in Uganda with a special focus to PHC facilities is very urgent.