The Regional AIDS Training Network (RATN)
Regional AIDS Training Network is an international body embracing all who are in any way involved with HIV/AIDS training. Gertrude’s was originally assessed to see how best its membership could be beneficial to the organisation as a whole. Membership was granted, and it was decided that the hospital’s most valuable contribution would be through its essentially paediatric potential. Through the Network Gertrude’s will benefit from the availability of further training in HIV/AIDS psycho-social child and parental care. Membership of this organisation additionally provided an opportunity to apply for grants, and to date two have already been provided, one for the training of managers and educators, and the other for training youth service providers. There is also available monitoring and evaluations of those who have been previously trained.
Participants at a recent RATN Paedriatic HIV/AIDS training
The Regional AIDS Training Network (RATN) is supporting a project at Gertrude’s that aims to disseminate and exchange information on prevention, treatment, care and support of HIV in children and youth. This project is being implemented by Gertrude’s in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
Gertrude’s will provide didactic sessions and mentorship for 50 health care workers, 20 managers in care and HIV/AIDS in Kenya then scale up to Africa by sharing curriculum.
One hundred youth will receive instruction on HIV prevention, life skills and behaviour change. The health care workers and youth will be trained as mentors to train others as part of this project.
The project will provide a platform for the development of a periodical paediatric and youth HIV/AIDS newsletter and website which will provide forum for evidence-based medical and health information to be disseminated.
Every minute, a child under the age of 15 is infected with HIV. About 1,400 children die every day from HIV/AIDS-related causes.
About half of the 6,000 new infections occur among young people. If current trends continue, it is estimated that the number of young people infected with HIV/AIDS could increase to 21.5 million by the end of 2010. It is therefore urgent to review and address the problem of HIV/AIDS in children and youth in all its aspects. National and international efforts to combat the disease should be enhanced and coordinated.
Paediatric HIV service delivery and uptake still lags behind despite 50 per cent of the population being below the age of 15 years. Currently less than half of the health care workers are trained in paediatric and youth HIV services. Healthcare workers’ and managers’ training must be put in place to scale up paediatric HIV prevention care and support services to reduce child mortality and morbidity.
Youth training addresses HIV infection in a high risk group. This is an area in which gaps in education, prevention and care programmes have been established.