THE new HIV and Tuberculosis treatment literacy manual is set to tackle non-communicable diseases, side effects of Antiretroviral therapies, religion, new regimens and nutrition which will see health civil society organisations take the knowledge to communities they work in.
By Kudakwashe Pembere in Kadoma
Speaking to Zimbabwe AIDS Network Communication, Health Research and Advocacy Officer Hazel Zemura on the side-lines of a civil society trainer of trainee workshop in Kadoma, she said they want to equip the CSOs on the trending issues.
“This is a civil society trainer of trainee workshop on the revised HIV and TB Treatment Literacy Manual. The main thrust is to equip communities with the new dynamics and trends in HIV and TB treatment.
“We have a diverse group of programmers who work communities, people living with HIV, peer educators working with the CARGS and communities.
“We also have members from the faith based communities, the religious sect and the media in direct contact with the communities. They need to be equipped with information to the community,” she said.
She added that included in the manual is the issue of the new ART regime of DTG or TLD.
“So we are saying what are the current trends in terms of DTG and communities need to know the real issues. For them to know the issues they need to be trained. The training is vast. We are focussing on HIV, and TB,ARVs in Key Populations,ARVs in children. There is issue around the first line, the preferred alternative drugs, the second line, the third line. We are getting deep into the treatment specifically so that communities should know. Your treatment is part of your health rights,” said Zemura.
Zemura further explained that work on this manual began in 2018.
“The review of the manual started in 2018. First it was revised by the technocrats you know the Ministry of Health was there, NAC was there. As civil society we felt that we did not input into their views so Zimbabwe AIDS Network, end of 2018 went for a round trip for the ZAN Regions, Bulawayo, and Mutare.
“We met with faith based 0rganisations and civil society organisations that are working in communities to have their input. So we had to input a column on faith healing and traditional healing in Zimbabwe because those are some of the components affecting treatment adherence. After that input we came back and started reviewing and finalising.
“But during that time , the new guidelines were coming in. we felt that we also needed to include information on the new guidelines, the DTG, the TLD, the transition the country is going through. We had to input those current trends and information around HIV/TB co-infections.
“We put issues around NCDs like Diabetes, hypertension, cancers, kidney failures, all that information is in the manual. So communities need to know what is happening,” she said.
Health Ministry Medical Officer in the AIDS and TB Department Dr CLorata Gwanzura said there was a whole chapter on patient’s rights to have knowledge on drug side effects.
NAC Treatment Care and Support Coordinator Mrs Caroline Sirewu said it was important for people living with HIV to be screened for other NCDs while on the other hand having good nutrition.