Renewed support for ASHM International’s longest running project has continued enabling further development of critical staff in the HIV and STI response in PNG.
Over the last few years ASHM has been able to combine the efforts within the Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration Project (SRHIP) (SRHIP is supported by the Australian Government in Partnership with the government of Papua New Guinea) and the Collaboration for Health PNG (CHPNG) funded by a consortium of Pharma companies (Jansen, Gilead and ViiV) to build a substantial HIV prescriber and mentor workforce across the Catholic Church Health Service’s throughout PNG. The renewed support by the consortium for CHPNG will enable this workforce to strengthen further.
This support has enabled the evolution of mentors to the establishment of Master mentor roles. With the renewed CHPNG funding moving into this next phase ASHM and CCHS will work to establish regional master mentors who will be able to provide clinical guidance to health workers in their province.
The SRHIP project has run 2 prescriber courses this year increasing the prescribing workforce by another 32 people and will have completed 2 refresher training courses for established prescribers by the end of the year. In October we will bring together the mentors in both the SRHIP and CHPNG projects for a workshop to strengthen their skills.
Work is also underway within the CHPNG project to establish a register of prescribers and mentors who are trained and actively prescribing within CCHS across PNG. This register will support the development and growth of these staff and ensure the spread of workforce across CCHS services to address the HIV burden.
The CHPNG and SRHIP projects will also support the development of a selection of these mentors to become facilitators. Further strengthening the local PNG capacity to deliver training and workforce development. With the SRHIP funding finishing at the end of 2022 these facilitators will be essential in the local continuation of upskilling the CCHS workforce to support PLHIV.