Seminars, workshops and courses on HIV and AIDS
Anyone working in the HIV field 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 healthy lifestyle “expert” in their community.
Dr. Konrad Horn, a volunteer at HOPE Cape Town
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.
HOPE in-service training
Ongoing training for all of our Community Health Workers is facilitated by our HOPE doctor and invited outside experts. 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.
In 2019 HCHW’s were offered the opportunity to study through College SA. This is a 6 month distance learning course that draws on learning in the participant’s context. Sr Pauline Jooste has mentored the participants through this process. Currently 3 HCHW’s have completed the certificate in Child Psychology and a further 2 HCHW’s have been enrolled. 3 students have completed the ‘Health, Safety and Nutrition for Young Children’ course.
People’s Development Centre
Our Community Healthcare Workers were part of the Western Cape Department of Health’s official HIV and ARV training course through the People’s Development Centre. This course involves 8 weeks of initial training covering the basic medical information, general counselling skills, HIV testing, Adherence counselling for ARVs and TB, and Paediatric counselling. The HCHW’s thereafter also attend regular update courses offered by PDC and the health department.
UNISA HIV Care and Counselling Course
All HOPE Community Workers employed before 2015 were enrolled in and mentored to obtain a tertiary level certificate qualification in HIV Care and Counselling through UNISA during their first year of employment. The course involves self-study and written assignments and assessments, and all candidates were closely mentored by Sr Pauline Jooste, our Outreach Officer. Unfortunately UNISA stopped offering this course as a stand-alone certificate at the end of 2015.
UCT Health Literacy and Advanced Counselling Course
Ten of our Community Health Workers completed this intensive, 2-year course, run by the Infectious Diseases Departments at University of Cape Town. The course was in collaboration with the UCT Psychiatry Department and Hope House Counselling Centre. It offered 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. Unfortunately the course was not offered after 2016.
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.