Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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Over 400 adherence counselors receive training

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Over 400 adherence counselors in the Federal Capital Territory, Benue, Nasarawa, Ogun, Osun, Delta, Kastsina, Ekiti and Ondo states have received training from the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) to improve the quality of care given to people living with HIV.

The three-day training featured lectures and practical sessions on counseling skills, anti-retroviral basics, treatment preparation and patient readiness for anti-retroviral treatment, disclosure of HIV status in adults and pediatrics, and adolescent adherence support.

imagesIHVN Program Manager, Mrs. Halima Ibrahim stated that the training is to ensure that more patients attain suppression of HIV virus in their bodies. “It is expected that all clients would receive adequate adherence support both at facility and community levels to achieve optimum adherence for treatment success. Regarding the quality of service, we hope to minimize the number of clients’ switching to second line due to treatment failure on the first line regimen,” she said.

An Adherence Counselor from General Hospital Owo, Ondo State Mrs. Ajiwe Abiodun, who participated in the training, said she has gained knowledge that will improve service delivery to patients and their significant others. “I initially thought that the role of an adherence counselor is to just commence patients on drugs and follow up. Now, we have been made to understand the essence of treatment preparation, tracking and follow-up and the effects of missing timing and dosage of drugs. The better we know, the better we’ll be able to inform the patient and the better outcomes we’ll hopefully will get,” she said.

Another participant, Precious Ogeze from Garki Hospital Abuja noted that the training has given him better insight into his role as an adherence counselor. “It was an eye opener in several areas though we were doing well, we need to do better.” The Care and Support Focal Person for General Hospital Keana, Nasarawa State, Mr. Jolly Amanyi, also a participant, said that he now sees that adherence counseling is more than advising. “Adherence counseling is teaching, coaching and mentoring clients to take informed decision. I discovered various approaches in adherence counseling. I learned that counseling adolescent is different from counseling adults.”

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The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria AITRP Training Programmes are supported and funded by the Fogarty International Center.

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