Uzbekistan: Newly-trained nurses provide relief for people living with HIV

Nurses training in HIV care in Uzbekistan
Nurses receive training on specialized care for HIV patients in Uzbekistan to build their capacity in primary healthcare facilities. (photo: Kamola Rasulova/UNDP uzbekistan)

In Uzbekistan, Rano Isaeva has taken time from her job as a healthcare worker to attend a training that will teach her how to provide palliative care services to people living with HIV and train their families on how to provide home-based care.

Highlights

  • More than 35,000 people from the most at-risk populations from all regions of Uzbekistan have been reached by HIV-prevention services.
  • More than 10,000 information sessions on treatment of sexually transmitted diseases have been provided.
  • More than 2,000 patronage nurses were trained in offering palliative services, and 4,279 people living with HIV and their families benefited from socio-psychological support.

“Patronage nurses bring relief to the patients and educate relatives to provide care and support. Often they turn into family members and counselors, trusted and relied upon,” she says.

Palliative care, which focuses on relieving patients from the symptoms, pain and stress caused by serious illness, can help HIV positive people carry on and enjoy a normal life. One of the main goals of UNDP’s HIV project in Uzbekistan – supported by the Global Fund – is to ensure quality of life for both the patient and the family, as well as improve access to treatment and medical care. 

As part of the project, a training module and guidelines for nurses have been developed in Uzbek and Russian and certified trainers in the regions of Andijan, Fergana, Namangan, Samarkand and Tashkent are passing on their knowledge to build the capacity of nurses in primary healthcare facilities.  

During the training, participants enhance their knowledge on HIV infection, the effect on the human body, stages of the disease, signs, symptomatic treatment and pain relief therapy. So far, more than 2,000 patronage nurses have been trained to educate patients and their family on HIV and prepare them for home-based care.

“We clearly understand that the effectiveness of the services we deliver depends on skills and knowledge we master during the trainings,” says Rano.

By the end of 2013, the training module will be integrated into the curricula and specialization of patronage nurses and 5,100 qualified nurses are expected to graduate and share their knowledge with their communities and patients’ families.

“Many people in the community ask questions on HIV. Now I am able to answer any questions on prevention measures, how the virus is transmitted and not transmitted, what the consequences may be, and whether it can be treated.,” says Zarifa Jonova, a local community nurse. “Thus, I will make my input in wellbeing of my community.”

On top of scaling up access to HIV diagnosis, treatment and care, the project is also looking at preventing the spread of the epidemic by focusing on most-at-risk populations: youth (especially young women), persons who use drugs, sex workers, and men who have sex with men.

By the end of 2012, more than 35,000 people from the most at-risk populations from all regions of Uzbekistan had been reached by HIV-prevention services, and more than 10,000 information sessions on treatment of sexually transmitted diseases had been provided.