As the HIV epidemic matures, public health facilities have come under increasing pressure to meet the growing demand for antiretroviral treatment (ART).
Recognising that doctors alone would not be able to meet this need, the Department of Health (DoH) authorised nurses to initiate treatment in 2010. This change in protocol offered an opportunity to dramatically improve the effectiveness of HIV programmes in primary health settings.
In partnership with the DoH, Anova, together with other partners, implemented Nurse Initiated Management of Antiretroviral Therapy (NIMART) training so nurses can help more patients access ARVs. Anova continues to train nurses in NIMART in Gauteng and Mopani – training thousands of nurses since 2010. After the training, Anova’s doctors continue to provide support and mentoring to the nurses at their place of work, to ensure that they can independently provide medical care and treatment to patients living with HIV.
Anova also trains health workers in TB management, elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (EMTCT), training on monitoring and evaluation of HIV/TB programme performance and basic pharmacy principles.
Diversity and Biomedical Training
Anova has developed competency training for clinical staff, and other materials catering to Key Populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, women who have sex with women, people who inject drugs, and sex workers. Anova has expanded this work outside of South Africa.
This key population training covers both sensitivity/diversity training and biomedical training. Training is followed by mentoring doctors and nurses to ensure that they have adequate skills to care for key populations. Nurse mentoring includes recapping the initial training and one-on-one sessions in which skills are demonstrated and cases discussed. Doctor mentoring takes place with groups and involves case discussions.
Comprehensive facilitator and participant manuals have been developed. Other training materials include pocket guides, posters on how to take a sexual history and clinic questionnaires.