African Journal of Social Work

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Training for community health workers: the first step towards a model of community antiretroviral therapy delivery

Paola De Castro, Raffaella Bucciardini, Paola Tatarelli, Michela Campagnoli, Teshome Abegaz, Michael Berhe, Atakilt Halifom, Marco Mirra, Luca Fucili, Vincenzo Fragola, Roberta Terlizzi, Katherina Pugliese, Hagos Godefay


The Ethiopian health system is facing complex challenges in increasing the access of HIV-patients to antiretroviral treatment (ART) and managing a growing number of patients on ART. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs, trained community health workers (CHWs) can be successfully involved in the management of innovative models of community ART delivery. It is our hypothesis that new models of community ART delivery may also be developed in Tigray. Based on consultation with the Tigray Regional Health Bureau (TRHB) we started a training program addressed to CHWs aimed at reinforcing their communication and clinical skills. Training methods included both face-to-face and self-learning sessions, with the support of ad hoc didactic toolkits developed by a multidisciplinary team. In this paper we present and discuss the preliminary results of the training program.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; lost to follow-up; community health workers, Ethiopia

AJOL African Journals Online