Seminars, workshops and courses on HIV and AIDS
Dr. Konrad Horn, a volunteer at HOPE Cape Town
Anyone working in the field of HIV and AIDS needs to become a comprehensive care giver, advisor, educator and counsellor in the diverse cultural and social contexts of South Africa. They need to be skilled in assisting in the different aspects of a healthy life: physical, psychological, social, financial, educational and spiritual.
HOPE Cape Town realised that community based education and support is most effective when it is offered in the language and manner of the target group. It is the policy of HOPE Cape Town to employ people from within the target community and to give them the necessary training to become the HIV and AIDS “expert” in that community health centre.
The HOPE Community Health Worker Training
On-going training and development is important for all our staff members, but especially our HOPE Community Health workers, most of whom were previously unemployed and had no access to tertiary education. We believe that our extensive training programme across various platforms sets HOPE Cape Town apart from others in the field.
UNISA HIV Care and Counselling Course
All HOPE Community Workers are enrolled in and mentored to obtain this UNISA qualification during their first year of employment. The course involves self-study and written assignments and assessments, and all candidates are closely mentored by Sr Pauline Jooste, our Outreach Officer.Once the course is completed, the Community Health Workers receive a tertiary-level certificate in HIV Care and Counselling.
UCT Health Literacy and Advanced Counselling Course
Ten of our Community Health Workers have already completed this intensive, 2-year course already, and others are in their second year of study. This course is run by the Adult and Paediatric Infectious Diseases Departments at UCT, in collaboration with the UCT Psychiatry Department and Hope House Counselling Centre. It was established in response to a critical need for improved lay counsellor training, and offers candidates a comprehensive general counselling course, as well as grounding in human biology, child development, communicable and non-communicable diseases and treatment literacy in managing chronic disease. It is presented by experts in the health and counselling fields. Our HCHWs have excelled in this course and as frontline workers in the healthcare team, are able to translate their knowledge into practice on a daily basis.
HOPE in-service training
Ongoing training for all of our Community Health Workers is facilitated by our HOPE doctor. Training takes place on a monthly basis and covers a wide range of topics which are relevant to their work, including HIV/TB, general health literacy, and life skills. This training enables our CHWs to remain up to date with the latest developments and deliver the best possible service to their communities.
The HOPE Cape Town leadership really believes in harnessing the power of mobile technology to help improve people’s lives. All our HCHWs are equipped with Samsung Galaxy tablets. These tablets have 3G internet access, and enable our community workers to explore online knowledge, and connect with each other and senior staff via email. They also enable self-study via various online courses. The tablets are used as document repositories, and loaded with counselling flipcharts, HIV and TB guidelines, educational videos, photographs and other tools useful in patient education and care. All in-house training material is uploaded onto the tablets, for HCHWs to review and reference.