Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Final Presentation for HIV/AIDS Course

I am currently taking Epidemiology and Impact of HIV/AIDS with Dr Homayoon Farzadegan. As part of the course students present following a guest lecture.

My topic is "future issues" and in my allotted time I have chosen to present the Partner's in Health community health worker model as the future is already here. The argument is founded on my belief that addressing HIV/AIDS is based on three pillars: health, education, and jobs.

I've shadowed Partners in Health community health workers (CHW) in rural Rwanda and seen the central role they play in the community. As scholarly support for their strengths, I have relied heavily on a great journal article by JS Mukhurjee. Her study showed CHW increase access to hard to reach people, increase the social capital within the community, and act as successful referral agents.

In the face of a global recession and restructuring of PEPFAR funds, horizontal programs that integrate and strengthen health systems pose a real path forward. A leader in this field is Rwanda. They have chosen to scale up the Partner's in Health CHW model as their rural health system. Perhaps, no one explains it best then former President Bill Clinton at the 2007 TED Wish talk.

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