LUSAKA, Zambia – Tuesday, October 11th 2016
AHF today applauded Zambia’s Ministry of Health and Chainama College of Health Sciences on the graduation of 23 CHA-HIV Medic students. This is the 2nd class of HIV Medics to graduate in Zambia since the course was formally accepted and registered with the Health professional Council of Zambia (HPCZ) in 2013.
The graduation, which occurred on the 22nd September 2016 at Mulungushi Conference Centre, was graced by the Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, who stressed the need to increase human resource capital in the country and commended partners including AHF for providing support to the Government.
“This is yet another momentous occasion in the history of Zambia and I am excited to see the progress that has been made,” expressed Hambweka Munkombwe, Operations Manager, AHF Zambia. “The vision of the program is to provide quality and culturally sensitive basic HIV and AIDS care, Adherence Counselling, PMTCT and HIV Testing services as close to the family as possible and within the Antiretroviral Clinics; improving service delivery in the National Health Priorities agenda, and ultimately contribute to the scaling-up of Human Resources for Health.”
In 2004, AIDS Healthcare Foundation developed its task-shifting model dubbed HIV-Medics for lay providers as a response to the shortage of healthcare providers working in the HIV/AIDS response. AHF partnered with Chainama College in standardizing the HIV-Medic training curriculum, and today the programme has produced cadres who are well trained in taking up simple tasks such as drug dispensing, triaging and phlebotomy.
“Since inception, this model has trained over 40 HIV-medics. I sincerely congratulate the Zambian government, staff of Chainama College and the graduates on this great occasion. I hope to see more countries adapt and begin implementation of this model,” said Dr. Penninah Iutung, Bureau Chief, Africa. “We are committed to providing replicable and sustainable partnerships to Governments to address gaps, and human resource for health capital is one area that requires a lot of support in HIV and AIDS service delivery.”
As one of the biggest partners for the Ministry of Health, AHF plays an important role of providing scholarship to students from the Ministry of Defence and supporting Chainama College with training materials, and updating the curriculum in line with the growing knowledge on HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, AHF has been instrumental in providing trainers that have undergone an intensive training programme.
“This is a dream come true for me! Seeing the acceptance and recognition of the programme by HPCZ is a great achievement,” said Mary Adair, PA-C, Director of Task-shifting Programme for AHF and initiator of the HIV medics training. “As a founder of the programme, I am positive that the contributions of this initiative in HIV treatment and care across the country will remain cardinal in strengthening service provision,” she added.