The Integration of TB in Education and Care for HIV/ AIDS (iTEACH) improves HIV and TB care and treatment in South Africa’s public health sector. iTEACH has operated from Edendale Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa since 2005. iTEACH works in close collaboration with the uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, and key community stakeholders, such as traditional Zulu healers to provide training on HIV and TB treatment and prevention to health care providers. iTEACH has pivoted to include public health and preventative behavior education during the COVID-19 pandemic, utilizing its strong relationship with traditional healers in KwaZulu-Natal.
iTEACH’s mission is to bring HIV and TB treatment and prevention programs to community clinics in KwaZulu-Natal, by partnering with and training local staff and community members. iTEACH provides site visits, in-service training on HIV/AIDS, assistance with file and data management, and basics of clinical management of patients on HIV treatment, or ARTs. HIV counselors called "Treatment Warriors" work closely with doctors and nurses to ensure each step of the diagnosis and treatment process runs smoothly and to provide support for patients and caregivers.
Additionally, iTEACH has developed programs to collaborate with and train traditional Zulu healers in the delivery of TB and HIV services, an important allyship in a region where many patients believe they must choose between HIV treatment and their traditional culture, beliefs, and practices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these programs were used to disseminate knowledge about social distancing and other COVID-19 preventative measures, as well to provide accessible, fact-based information about the vaccines to help address vaccine hesitancy in the communities served.
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