Training supports the Department of Health and other key partners through training initiatives. Since 2007 over 5000 Department of Health staff have been trained. The department also support internal capacity-building initiatives in the areas of management, basic skills, research and technical competency. As a sustainable training entity with a strong reputation for quality training and learning, the training department proactively supports the overarching strategy of the Institute, through:
Internal training: technical and general skills development & External training: support for the District Approach to Strengthening Health (DASH) programme, facilitation of high-profile courses and development of new learning programmes for the health sector
- Khulani – WRHI’s management and leadership programme
Khulani is an internal leadership course which was initiated by the Institute in 2009, and takes managers through the life cycle of an employee from recruitment to dealing with diversity and career development, and empowers team leaders to effectively manage for maximum performance. Since its inception, 114 managers have been trained, 45 of whom were trained in 2011.
- Continuing Professional Development
Wits RHI has moved away from traditional formal courses as a capacity-building solution and more creative approaches have been piloted, particularly for continuous professional development, such as e-based learning modules and email case discussions. Not only does this search for more diverse, appropriate learning solutions address issues of equity and access with such a widely geographically spread staff complement, it also ensures that funds available for staff development are maximised.
Courses currently on offer:
- Clinical HIV Management Course
- For medical doctors working in HIV
This regionally recognised, Johannesburg-based course was originally developed in response to the need within Southern Africa for effective HIV management in resource-poor areas. Since the advent of antiretrovirals, the course has evolved to include all aspects of treatment and support.
This full-time, two-week learning experience is facilitated by Wits RHI’s ARV experts in addition to physicians and experts from each aspect of HIV management and uses a variety of methods from interactive lectures and case studies to an experiential component with visits to local ART sites. The course is endorsed by the College of Medicine and provides a useful foundation for the College’s HIV Diploma.
- Comprehensive HIV Management: Treatment and Care Programme for Nurses
For Registered Nurses
This course has been developed to address the learning needs of nurses working in the ever-changing environment of HIV management. Designed to strengthen the capacity of professional nurses to provide quality, comprehensive HIV services, this course focuses on readying nurses to initiate and manage HIV-positive patients. The course is based on the National Department of Health Guidelines.
- NIMART (Nurse initiation and management of antiretroviral treatment) Capacity-building Programme
For professional nurses providing HIV-related services in the public sector
In line with the National Department of Health’s campaign for increased access to ARV treatment, this programme is designed to capacitate the professional nurse to be able to initiate and manage patients on ARVs. The course is modular and the theory content can either be facilitated off site on consecutive days with follow-on mentoring or on site with mentoring in between modules. The course is based on the National Department of Health Guidelines and uses cases and interactive lectures as the main methods.
- HIV Prevention and Management: Basic Course
For lay counsellors/NGOs/CBOs and community- and clinic-based HIV educators
The course provides an introductory overview to HIV, STIs and TB from a lay person’s perspective with the aim of providing participants with the knowledge and confidence to support and educate others on the prevention and management of STI, TB and HIV. Emphasis is placed on encouraging health-seeking behaviour and essential life skills to promote sexual health and rights. The course takes into account the varied backgrounds of participants, and the sharing of diverse experiences is integrated into the learning on the course. The sessions are run using a variety of workshop methods and include lectures, discussions, group work, and problem-solving activities.
- Strengthening Integrated, Quality HIV Services
For clinic managers including senior nursing staff in a managerial role, and health care providers involved in quality improvement
The National Strategic Plan cannot be effectively implemented if there is insufficient attention paid to the systems required to support HIV services. This course was developed to support the implementation of the NSP, out of recognition that quality HIV services need to be provided within the context of quality health services. The course focuses on the implementation of the 10 HIV Standards (developed by Wits RHI in partnership with the DOH). An introduction to quality improvement is provided, looking at a range of improvement methods. Topical issues are also discussed including integration, task-shifting, and provider-initiated counselling and testing. The course is full-time for three days, with a quality improvement project and telephonic follow-up after one month.
- Strengthening HIV Counselling
For ART counsellors/HCT counsellors/lay counsellors/HIV educators/HIV support staff
Adherence counselling has shifted from being the sole responsibility of dedicated adherence counsellors at ART sites to include a broad range of HIV support staff based in different settings. This course is designed for counsellors, educators and HIV support staff who are based at ART initiation sites, HCT services, PMTCT services, and primary health care clinics offering HIV services. The course aims to equip participants with the knowledge, attitude and skills to provide appropriate information and support for those who are preparing to go onto ART or are already receiving ART. The course methods combine information-giving, group discussion and participation with practical activities to apply knowledge and skills learnt on the course.
- HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Ward-based Nurses
For ward-bases nurses and midwives
The aim of the course is to equip participants with accurate, reliable information about HIV and AIDS in order for them to provide optimum care for admitted patients.
The Research Methods Course has been held annually since 1997 and was developed by Wits RHI, the Medical Research Council and the Population Council as an African response to the need to build research capacity in these specialist areas in the African region. The course seeks to introduce African researchers, health service managers and clinicians to the fundamentals of research methods and key Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV issues relevant to their regions.
The main aim of the Research Methods Course is to support and improve reproductive health policy and programme planning in Africa by building home-grown capacity in reproductive health research skills and intervention strategies.
The objectives of the course are:
- To strengthen the research capabilities of participants with the aim of increasing research capacity in the African region
- To provide skills in research methods allowing participants to initiate research, participate in research and to critically appraise research findings
- To familiarise participants with the major SRH and HIV issues affecting the African region
- To create a network of alumni to facilitate information exchange and research collaboration in the African region
Sexual and Reproductive Health
In line with a background in sexual and reproductive health, last year Wits RHI facilitated the development of a training curriculum for professional nurses in Contraception and Fertility Planning on behalf of the National Department of Health to support the implementation of the revised contraception policy guidelines.
In addition, a pilot learning programme to support clinicians working towards the Higher Diploma in Sexual Health and HIV was also launched.
Wits RHI, in keeping with its polydisciplinary character, teaches across the University departments from the Faculty of Health Sciences to the Business School. Most teaching occurs within the Department of Internal Medicine at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, to internal medicine and microbiology registrars and trainee sub-specialists in infectious diseases, where bedside teaching, ward rounds and occasional didactic lectures support the training department’s efforts.
In addition, Wits RHI continues to support the GEMP and undergraduate clinical programmes through bedside and didactic teaching in the fields of HIV and infectious diseases. Support is also given to courses supporting registrars to complete their Master’s degree.