With PEPFAR investment, MEPI and NEPI programs have supported numerous interventions to ensure that pre-service institutions (medical and nursing schools) equip trainees with the necessary medical and nursing knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills to address the challenges of the HIV epidemic and work towards epidemic control in high-burden settings. In addition, many institutions are teaching continuous improvement methodologies, utilizing systematic and team-oriented approaches to improve the quality and impact of care provided for people with HIV.
Despite these efforts, the competency of early career health professionals to integrate and apply HIV-related education received during pre-service training is variable. Evidence-based teamwork strategies that can optimize patient care by improving communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals are not uniformly employed. Furthermore, once graduates depart from their training institutions and begin practicing independently there are a paucity of resources available to help integrate teamwork principles into their clinical practice. This variability of training across MEPI/NEPI institutions and lack of support for early career professionals may negatively impact the overall quality of the HIV care they are capable of providing, their retention and motivation, and ultimately their patient’s outcomes. Moreover, the absence of a feedback loop between early-career professionals and their pre-service training institutions means that the specific challenges that these recent graduates face in the clinic setting are not being reintegrated into the training curricula and are not being used to strengthen curricula or enhance the preparedness of future cadres of medical professionals.
Starting in 2019, AFREhealth, in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and with funding from Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), embarked on an ambitious project to address this variability of pre-service HIV training across institutions, Strengthening InterProfessional Education to Improve HIV Care Across Africa (STRIPE HIV).
STRIPE HIV aims to maximize the impact of HRSA’s investment in, and PEPFAR’s continued commitment to, building health workforce capacity across Africa to achieve HIV epidemic control. The overarching goal of the project is to ensure that pre-service medical and nursing students and early career professionals are prepared to translate lessons and learnings from the classroom to the high-burden clinical settings and are equipped to provide high-quality HIV care while employing an interprofessional team-based approach.
- Strengthening interprofessional HIV training provided by MEPI and NEPI institutions and their partner facilities to ensure that the next generation of health care professionals is equipped to deliver the highest quality, collaborative, evidence-informed HIV care;
- Enabling MEPI and NEPI schools to better support pre-registered health professionals post-training so that they deliver high quality, team-based care for patients with HIV;
- Fostering feedback loops between MEPI and NEPI institutions and their graduates to continually strengthen pre-service education grounded in the realities of patient care in the workplace.
The initial STRIPE HIV intervention will be a 2-day interactive, case-based training course targeted to final year medical and nursing students as well as trainees in the allied health professions and pre-registered health professionals at their schools and/or affiliated training sites. This training will consist of 17 training modules that will apply an interprofessional approach to learning and will focus on covering the fundamentals of HIV, while also helping learners develop competencies in quality improvement. This 2-day training course was developed by AFREhealth alongside UCSF and a team of expert advisors and is being shared with NEPI and MEPI institutions at the AFREhealth Symposium in Lagos, in August 2019.
Please watch this space for progress reports and updates on the implementation of STRIPE HIV trainings in Fall 2019.