Updated: May 11
Regional Community Mobilisation and Linkage to Care Officer Lucy Bwalya during the training.
ZAMPHIA has resumed retraining for staff in preparation of the survey launch. The first training “Linkage to Care (LTC) and Return of Results (RoR)” was conducted in Lusaka and attended by 112 staff. Participants described the training as a key milestone in the survey’s resumption. Participants were separated into groups of 40 participants each and followed strict COVID-19 protocols.
Speaking in an interview shortly after completing the training, Kelvin Chishala, district HIV coordinator for Chinsali, indicated that the sessions had sharpened his supervisory role in the district.
“From the training I have learnt a number of things, such as the need to seek participants’ consent before I conduct my HIV research in my community,” he said.
Another training participant, Francine Chewe, ART coordinator stationed at Chawama General Hospital, said that she had learnt how to link HIV positive ZAMPHIA survey participants to care and treatment.
The training was aimed at introducing the participants to Active LTC and RoR protocols. In addition, the training introduced the participants to the roles and responsibilities of the facility ART focal point persons and the community health workers in LTC and RoR, and to methods of data management.
Speaking at the start of the training, Dr. Sinjani Msangwa, the technical lead for the Linkage to Care and Ethics Unit, thanked the participants for their undivided interest in the training.
She expressed optimism that the training will go a long way in strengthening the participants’ understanding of LTC best practices in the survey.
Dr. Msangwa further observed that “It is the responsibility of the survey to ensure that HIV positive ZAMPHIA survey participants access clinical HIV care
in line with the National Consolidated Guidelines for Treatment and Prevention of HIV, by returning CD4 and viral load test results, in addition to linking them to a facility if they require HIV care and treatment service.”
The Linkage to Care and Return of Results training is the first in a series for the ZAMPHIA survey. Stay tuned for further updates.