Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Guide to 100% Condom Use Programme in the Philippines

The 100% CUP was introduced initially in three sites in the Philippines in 1999 by Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) through the AIDS Surveillance and Education Project (ASEP) of USAID. This was expanded to five other sites in 2000-2002.

In 2003, this approach was further implemented in San Fernando, La Union, Dagupan and Urdaneta, Pangasinan; and Laoag City through the assistance of WHO. An assessment of the program was done in April-June 2007 through site visits, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The assessment included a number of recommendations for the various implementers of the 100% CUP.

Based on these recommendations, a 3-month project was created to put together guidelines and subsequently train the implementers in other sites in the Philippines. The project was implemented by HAIN and HDII in coordination with DOH and WHO.

HAIN developed the “Implementer’s Guide to 100% Condom Use Programme in the Philippines” based on experiences from other countries and the pilot sites. The draft was validated through a workshop with key stakeholders involved in the implementation of the programme. The validation is one step to assure that prior to the pre-testing of the Implementer’s Guide and the Training Manual, a process of ensuring accuracy and appropriateness has been done.

The Guide became the basis for HDII to revise the “100% CUP Training Manual,” to conduct the training of trainers and the return demonstration to solicit comments and to further validate the contents and process. Based on the inputs from the validation workshops, training of trainers, and return demonstration activies, the Implementer’s Guide” and the Training Manual on the 100% CUP was finalized.

DOH, HAIN Developed PEP Guidelines

The Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Policy Guidelines was developed in response to the results of the External Assessment of VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing) and Procurement and Supply Chain Management for HIV and AIDS Program. The Assessment recommended the need for the PEP system to be in place in all health facilities.

The PEP Guidelines will serve as the national guideline for all government hospitals and other health care facilities as well as for private hospitals and private practitioners. The availability of PEP for health workers will serve to increase staff motivation to work with people infected with HIV, and may help to retain staff concerned about the risk of exposure to HIV in the workplace. Within the health sector, PEP should be provided as part of a comprehensive standard precaution package that reduces staff exposure to infectious hazards at work.

To facilitate the development of the PEP Policy Guidelines, the Department of Health partnered with HAIN with support from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The 3-month process involved conducting meetings and consultations with health researchers, program directors, and health practitioners in the field of HIV and AIDS leading to the formation of PEP Technical Working Group (TWG).

HAIN prepared the preliminary guidelines and through these meetings, the TWG discussed and provided more input to the draft guidelines for improvement. In finalizing and to further enhance the guidelines, HAIN organized a validation writeshop in September 17, 2007 and has invited participants from regional partners and treatment hubs who are in the frontline of AIDS treatment, care and support.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Travelogue: Healthlink’s 30th Anniversary in London

In October, Healthlink Worldwide, invited HAIN to participate at their global partners meeting which coincided with the celebration of their 30th founding anniversary. It was my first viist to London so I was excited! With some problems with my passport and visa, I had to re-book my flight one day later which mean I missed the first meeting in London held at the House of Parliaments.

Days 2 and 3 of the meeting were held in a Baptist Church. There, I got to see old friends again like David, Luc, Shaidul, James, Kuhu, etc. Then there were many new acquaintances from Africa, India and from Healthlink. The meeting was interesting, inspiring and I like the new people I have met (I couldn’t remember their names unless I would look at the directory). Shampa and Stephanie of Healthlink were also nice and it’s good to finally see them in person.

Healthlink also organized a cocktail party wherein friends of the organization also attended to celebrate the 30th year. We all came in our national costumes (I wasn’t exactly wearing a Filipino dress) and I like the dresses of the Africans. Healthlink is one of the NGOs I really admire and I am glad it has become part of my career. It was heart-warming to see David and the rest of the staff in their turf.

Then finally, after three days meeting, Delen and I were free to go around the city. We first visited the Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards. We enjoyed strolling at St. James Park down to The Big Ben, House of Parliaments and the Westminster Abbey. It was tiring to become a tourist in a very interesting city but I really enjoyed going to The London Eye, Harrods and Oxford street. The Tower Bridge, National Gallery and Covent Garden also became part of our itenerary. But I was more thrilled when we went to King’s Cross station. It was all I wanted so that I could somehow feel Harry Potter mania! I was all smiles when I had my picture taken at Platform 93/4

After the Healthlink meeting, Delen and I spent extra days at the Ockelford’s manor. Jane who used to work with HAIN a long time ago and is now married to Jeremy Ockelford, was a very dear to host us. I love my pictures from this trip and I cherish every moment I was there. I wish I could go back again to Europe!

by Joyce P. Valbuena, HAIN Research and Publications Coordinator

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