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Medical Teacher. 2009 Apr; 31(4):e169-76.BACKGROUND: Poor public health indicators in Tanzania have led to the upgrading of nursing and clinical personnel who currently have just core training. Clinical officers (COs) have 3 years training in basic and applied medicine and are responsible for healthcare of large and dispersed rural populations. AIMS: UNESCO-Wales has funded colleagues in Wales (UK) to assist the upgrade of COs. An inquiry into their learning needs and the Tanzanian context has produced a framework for design of a module for COs on sexually transmissible infections and HIV & AIDS by distance learning. METHODS: Face-to-face discussions were held with the Ministry of Health, healthcare workers, educators and administrators in Tanzania; a review of training documents was carried out; and a follow-up questionnaire issued to COs. RESULTS: The discussions and review highlighted teacher-centred approaches, and management, infrastructure and resources obstacles to curriculum change. Principal learning needs of COs around STIs were: counselling, syndromic management, drugs management, laboratory diagnosis, health education, resources, staffing and service morale. CONCLUSIONS: Placing learning needs in context in dialogue with Tanzanian colleagues was an advance on simple transfer of educational technologies and expertise. The inquiry resulted in a draft study guide and resources pack that were positively reviewed by Tanzanian tutors. Management and resources issues raised problems of sustainability in the module implementation.
Population 2005. 2004 Sep-Oct; 6(3):15.The UN Population Fund’s distance-learning courses, directed not only to UNFPA staffs but to workers in the population and development fields worldwide, have been attracting increasing interest and may soon be strengthened and expanded. In a June status report on the purely voluntary program, UNFPA noted that 163 students had already been trained, and that there was a large and growing waiting list of potential participants. Courses are offered in April and October of each year; their descriptive titles are: “The ‘What and Why’ of Reproductive Health;” “Confronting HIV/AIDS: Making a Difference;” “Advocacy: Action, Change and Commitment;” “Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: How to Deliver Quality Programs and Services?” “Reducing Maternal Deaths: Selecting Priorities, Tracking Progress” (offered in English, French and Spanish). A sixth course, “Mainstreaming Gender: Taking Action, Getting Results,” was introduced this year. A digest of all six courses is currently in production. (excerpt)
Vox Sanguinis. 2002; 83 Suppl 1:173-177.A safe blood supply is a critical component in improving health care and in preventing the spread of infectious diseases globally. Millions of lives are saved each year through blood transfusions. Safe blood transfusion is an extremely cost-effective measure in developed countries such as the USA, where 2% of the health care budget which is spent on Blood Transfusion Services benefits 50% of the health services. Yet the quality and safety of blood transfusion therapy is of continuing concern, particularly in developing countries where 80% of the world's population lives. This concern is related to the risk of transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs) due to unsafe transfusions. This results from blood collected from unsafe donors, the lack of quality systems in blood transfusion services, poor laboratory procedures in blood group serology and inadequate testing of donated blood for TTIs, errors in the administration of blood, and a lack of access and appropriate clinical use of blood and blood products for patients requiring transfusion. (excerpt)
Global AIDSLink. 2003 Apr-May; (79):12-13.The media plays a unique role within society either to denounce or to perpetuate the bias and moral judgments against people with HIV/AIDS. Sometimes journalists can underestimate how influential their portrayal of HIV/AIDS is in shaping people's attitudes, especially when society fails to distinguish between people and the disease they suffer from; when denial is so pervasive that the infected are ostracized by their families. In addition, reporters, editors and producers constantly grapple with ways to find fresh angles to discuss HIV, and ensure their viewers and readers remain engaged by a topic that never appears to grow old. To address these and other key topics concerning the media and its treatment of HIV/AIDS, the World Bank organized a distance-learning course from June to November 2002 that simultaneously brought together journalists and HIV/AIDS project managers from Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria and Malawi. The course, entitled Fighting the HIV/AIDS Pandemic through Information and Strategic Communication, recognizes the role that successful communication campaigns can play in increasing understanding of the disease and promoting life-saving behaviors. Each program stream consisted of eight video-conferenced modules, which were followed up through in-country work. (excerpt)
Population 2005: News and Views on Further Implementation of Cairo Program of Action. 2003 Mar-Apr; 5(1):2-3.As part of its learning and training strategy, and in its continuing response to the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched a distance-learning program of study courses on population and reproductive health issues, The program, developed over a four-year period, offers tutor- assisted distance-learning (D-L) courses to UNFPA staff as well as national project personnel around the world. Each course is intended to run for a period of eight weeks and each is directed by a team of tutors who have been engaged and specifically trained by the Fund to encourage dialogue with students and to provide guidance, feedback and grades for the required assignments. At present, all communication between students and tutors is conducted entirely through e-mail exchanges. (excerpt)