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Training Course: Qualification for Ukrainian Nurses in Home Care for People Living with HIV and AIDS

A co-operation between Caritas Ukraine, the Felix Pflegeteam Berlin (a Berlin patient care team) and the Day Hospital of the Auguste Viktoria Clinical Centre in Berlin

The concept of home nursing known in Western Europe cannot be compared to the one in Ukraine. Only in recent years it has taken root that "strangers" look after people in their homes. It seems that in general sick people are nursed by family members. The same applies to national policlinics and hospitals where care, like personal hygiene, clean clothes or feeding, is a task performed by the family and not the hospital staff.

Since the late 1990s Caritas Ukraine has been establishing social centres in several cities of the country. Mainly registered nurses and some few social workers look after old and disabled persons in their homes. In cities like Kiev, Odessa and Donetsk Caritas Ukraine extended its program in 2005 so as to look also after people who are infected with HIV/ AIDS.

The nursing staff needs additional training for the work with people living with HIV and AIDS. Hence since December 2005 a training course is offered annually for the qualification [in HIV/AIDS nursing] for about 30 Ukrainian nurses at a time. The nurses come from cities and regions of Kiev, Donetsk and Odessa, where they are already nursing people infected with HIV; but also from other areas, where Caritas Ukraine is active and the nursing options for people living with HIV/AIDS will be extended (e.g. Lviv, Ternopol and Chmelnitzkaja).

The project is funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation, so that no expenses arise for the German instructors, who indeed give this training course on a strictly honorary basis. The aim is to support the staff of Caritas Ukraine in the project of establishing and/or extending home care for people with HIV/AIDS; always considering the needs and resources in Ukraine. The idea is to increase their professional competence and train them as multipliers, so that they can share their (newly) acquire knowledge with the people affected and their relatives. Another goal is to provide the healthcare staff with physical and moral support in their work, given that due to the current situation in Ukraine, they themselves are at risk to get into trouble within their milieu because of their contact to people infected with HIV. The socio-political relevance of raising awareness for the "strange" universes of the marginal groups and their discrimination and stigmatisation is a permanent feature of each training.

Another inherent part of the training courses are the observations of Ukrainian health staff in Berlin and patient visits prior to each course in Ukraine. Getting to know the structures of the German AIDS-Hilfe and public utilities as well as accompanying the instructors on their visits to the patients in Ukraine, allows the trainees to initiate a useful exchange of experience about the options in nursing, healthcare, and prevention in Deutschland and in Ukraine.

It is essential to find new means of sustainable funding for the project when the pilot phase expires in October 2007.

July 23, 2006 | Category:


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