UCSF S/N and Muhimbili University College of Health Science S/N Twinning Center

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Investigator: Carmen J. Portillo, RN, PhD, FAAN
Sponsor: American International Health Alliance (AIHA)

Location(s): Tanzania

Description

In addition to developing and supporting nursing faculty master trainers who can provide national leadership to sustain the HIV/AIDS nurse training program, partners are also working to bolster nursing school capacity through the THANE Project. Specific targets include building capacity to provide quality pre-service education in HIV/AIDS care and support and initiating a life skills training program that will support students both personally and professionally.  Participants at a master trainer course review the new HIV/AIDS and Life Skills Curriculum developed by partners thanks to PEPFAR support. Working closely with the Nurse Training Unit at Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to ensure integration into existing nursing curricula, partners have developed a 12-module HIV/AIDS nursing curriculum, as well as instructor guides and toolkits—which include PowerPoint slides and other teaching materials—for each module. 
 
Twinning Center partners at Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences School of Nursing (MUCHS) and the University of California - San Francisco School of Nursing (UCSF) are spearheading efforts to educate a cadre of master teachers who will provide training and clinical mentoring to faculty at all 61 of the country’s nursing schools. 
 
Through the CDC-funded Tanzania HIV/AIDS Nursing Education (THANE) Project, Tanzania’s nurse educators are being equipped with adequate knowledge and resources on HIV/AIDS. Thus empowered, they are teaching nursing students how to provide quality care and treatment to individuals, families, and even entire communities. Nurse educators at a master trainer course demonstrate the proper way to put on a condom—something most participants couldn’t do at the beginning of the workshop. 
 
Nurses constitute some 60 percent of Tanzania’s professional healthcare workforce. They provide primary care services to most of the country’s population, which includes more than 2 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Because of this, they play a leading role when it comes to providing care, treatment, and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.The THANE curriculum is rooted in evidence-based clinical practice. It is designed to arm future nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to provide quality prevention, care, and treatment services to people in their communities. 
 
Once the curriculum is implemented nationwide, some 6,600 nursing students will receive quality HIV/AIDS care instruction annually and eventually graduate with a strong foundation in HIV and AIDS care. 
 
In 2007, partners initiated training of faculty master trainers at a pilot workshop for nurse educators from nine training zones.