NEW CHANCE FOR LIFE – Paediatric Programme
North West Province Support Programme
‘New Chance for Life’ focuses on improving the skills and confidence of healthcare workers in order to increase the number of children and adolescents receiving treatment for HIV.
This programme focuses specifically on supporting the implementation of the Department of Healths down-referral plan from hospitals to Primary Health Clinics (PHCs) in the Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District (DKK) of the Northwest Province (NWP). This district has the highest HIV prevalence in the province.
Since 2008, CHIVA Africa has provided teaching and mentoring to all cadres of staff in the District to improve health outcomes for HIV positive infants, children and adolescents. Early interventions focused on capacitating hospitals and Community Health Centres (where most children were managed at that time). In 2012, our focus moved to Primary Health Clinics in line with Government policy to manage HIV as close to the clients home as possible. This programme has been funded by The Nuffield Foundation.
CHIVA Africas volunteer teams, made up of both UK and South African health care professionals, provided training and mentoring in primary healthcare clinics across DKKs four sub-districts. Teams include a mix of paediatricians, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists, dietitians and other experts. Around 25 clinics and facilities are visited annually, with priority given to those experiencing particular challenges.
Teaching methods include one-to-one mentoring, workshops and clinical mentoring, covering everything from HIV testing and side effects to infant feeding, adolescent physiology, discrimination and adherence.
In its first year (Nov 2012-Oct 2013), the programme trained and mentored 1,698 healthcare professionals, including counsellors, nurses, pharmacists, doctors, dieticians and students. In its second year (Nov 2013-Oct 2014), the programme reached 1,475 healthcare professionals – 40% above target.
Other successes include: more children being initiated onto treatment in primary healthcare settings, stable children being down-referred to local facilities, and improvements in record-keeping, growth monitoring and drug dosing.