Health[e]Living South Africa

Health[e]Living South Africa

 

The first ever Health[e]Living kick-off workshop was piloted on Monday July 14th and Tuesday July 15th with 30 enthusiastic counselors and community workers in Cape Town, South Africa! With funding of the former Medical Knowledge Institute (MKI) and logistical support and local collaboration from the Desmond Tutu HIV foundation, Health[e]Living is a new course designed to offer community workers, counselors, peer educators and teachers with the necessary knowledge and tools to improve HIV prevention and treatment in South Africa.


In 2011 an estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV in the Republic of South Africa in 2011, The highest number of people in any country. In the same year, 270,190 South Africans died of AIDS-related causes. The majority of deaths are young adults, the group most affected by the epidemic; almost one-in-three women aged 25-29, and over a quarter of men aged 30-34, are living with HIV. This is why Health[e]Living offers both theoretical as well as practical modules which inform community workers and counselors on topics such as:


  • Prevention of HIV
  • Adherence Importance and Support
  • Methods of working with people living with or vulnerable to HIV
  • Women and HIV infection
  • HIV and Human Rights
  • HIV and Addictions
  • Facilitator Skills
  • Sex and Gender
  • Safe Sex
  • STDs
  • Communication and Decision making
  • Healthy Body

 

The two-day kick off workshop took place at the Jubilee Community church on Nelson Street in Cape Town. With lectures on “HIV prevention in South Africa” by Dr. Katherine Gill from the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, and “HIV and addictions” by Sister Brown from SANCA, the first day of the kick off workshop provided our participants with new theoretical information about HIV prevention and treatment. The second day of the workshop focused on practical implementation of counseling and community education skills, through lectures and activities on communication and counseling skills, coping with addicted patients and prevention education. The latter activities were facilitated by Dr. Fransje van der Waals, educational consultant Annemijn Versteeg and project manager Denise van Dijk.


The final workshop will take place the end of September. We look forward to seeing the results of our participants as well as to hear about their experiences teaching their communities on HIV prevention through the activities from the course!