HIV[e]Education in Ethiopia

After a kick-off workshop in December and a three-month self-study period, 74 participants gathered again in March in Adama and Bahir Dar, and successfully finished the Health[e]Foundations’ HIV[e]Education course. The HIV[e]Education course in Ethiopia was made possible through an educational grant of Janssen, Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson.

In collaboration with the Ethiopian Medical Association (EMA) and the Ethiopian Nurses Association (ENA) almost 80 nurses and medical doctors were trained in the field of HIV prevention, treatment and care. During the 2-day follow-up workshops the groups of enthusiastic participants enjoyed interactive guest lectures by local experts on initiation of ART, mental health and HIV, stigma and discrimination, palliative care and HIV, nutrition and HIV, pediatric HIV and HIV-TB co-infection. Participants experienced how difficult it is to be adherent to medication (placebo) for two days, and practiced communication skills among other interactive sessions. Some comments from participants:

“I understood any even little actions by health professional may result in psychological trauma for PLWH. I will create rapport with patients, and use effective communication skills.”

“The most important thing I learned today is how hard it is to be adherent , it sounds so easy when we order/tell our patient to be adherent. This experience is interesting. The communication part will help me with this.”

A total of 74 participants received their well-deserved certificates. The success and gains from this HIV[e]Education course in Ethiopia should not be limited to this group. We hope to train more health care workers, and are looking forward to a further collaboration with the associations in the future.