Effectiveness of capacity building of health care workers on management of Paediatric HIV/AIDS patients: a case of University of Nairobi- Aids care and treatment services project
Kimathi, Susan Kagwiria
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Global health initiatives and international public-private partnerships have made considerable progress towards advancing the capacity of the health workforce in delivering treatment, care and support. Capacity building must entail training, knowledge acquisition and management of paedaitric HIV / AIDS patients for the health personnel across the board. In turn all cadres must educate, counsel and appropriately inform the patient who is to benefit from their services. Such training should encompass knowledge base, communication skills and desirable professional attitudes. (MOH, 2005).Several initiatives on capacity building of HIV / AIDS health care workers have been initiated through PEPF AR funds. AIDS Care and Treatment Services (ACTS), a project of the University of Nairobi, Department of Paediatrics was not left out in the initiative. However the effectiveness of the project has not been evaluated since its inception. Capacity building is one of the most important components of scaling-up treatment for HIV / AIDS patients in Kenya. Without trained health personnel, newly available diagnostic techniques and therapies will never be put to optimum use. Research design applied was descriptive survey methodology. Questionnaire was used for primary data collection whereas medical records assisted in secondary data for purposes of triangulation and validation. Data was analyzed by use of descriptive method and then data presented on frequency tables and cross tabulation. In the discussion it has been noted that capacity building of health care givers has played a major role in provision of health care among the Paediatric HIV / AIDS patients. Health care workers who were trained in management of Paediatric HIV / AIDS patients proved to perform better in their places of work unlike those who have not received any form of training at all. As the national guidelines cite that treatment should be done from the closest location possible, trained HCW indicated that they were able to transfer them to clinics close to their residence; however stigma among patients is still so deep rooted such that patients opt to have their treatment done far away from their locality. Building capacity among health care workers has also enabled them to diagnose paediatric patients early for early management and this go miles in reducing child mortality rate and also building on the millennium development goals. In conclusion building capacity has played a vital role in scaling up management of Paediatric HIV / AIDS patients over the past 5 years. However, the study recommends impact or effect assessment of any capacity building programs is very important not only for realizing its benefits but also to identify further training needs and see the worth of training efforts. The study also recommends two areas for further research; retention of the trained personnel which ultimately ensures quality care to patients. Another possible research area is to explore ways of ensuring patients observe their clinic/ appointment dates which therefore ensures efficiency.