Botswana Ministry of Health to reach more with HIV training

BOTSWANA: Botswana Ministry of Health to reach more with HIV training

GABORONE, 25 May 2004 (PLUSNEWS) - Botswana's ministry of health this week announced its intention to expand its existing HIV/AIDS training programme to reach more health care professionals.

"Building on the existing KITSO AIDS training programme, the plan will ensure a comprehensive, standardised and coordinated HIV/AIDS training, as well as bringing all existing and future HIV-focused training under the aegis and direction of the ministry of health, so the quality can be assured," Peter Navario, chairman of the KITSO planning committee and project co-ordinator of the Baylor-Botswana Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence, told PlusNews.

KITSO, a Tsetswana word meaning 'knowledge', stands for Knowledge, Innovation and Training Shall Overcome (HIV/AIDS). It includes the Botswana-Harvard Partnership, the Ministry of Health's AIDS/STD Unit, the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP), the BOTUSA Project, the Baylor International Paediatric AIDS Initiative, the Nurses Association of Botswana and affiliated health training institutions.

One of the new courses on offer includes advanced training in paediatric HIV care, provided by leading paediatric AIDS experts from the Baylor International Paediatric AIDS Initiative.

"Another exciting addition is an 'HIV counselor training' course. It is a co-ordinated counselor training, put together by a consortium of HIV counseling bodies, for a single standardised training package in HIV counseling," said Navario.

The KITSO AIDS training programme was established in 2001 and implemented by the Botswana-Harvard Partnership. Since then more than 2,000 health professionals have completed courses.

According to UNAIDS, the adult HIV prevalence rate in Botswana is 38.8 percent. In 2001, 300,000 adults between the ages of 15 and 49 were either HIV-positive or had AIDS.


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