This is a guest post by Dr Kevin Miles, HIV Technical Specialist at the Oil Search Health Foundation.
In its latest response to HIV in Papua New Guinea, the Oil Search Health Foundation has received endorsement from the PNG Department of Education (DoE) to facilitate a teacher training and mentorship program. Oil Search has had a successful HIV program since 2007, primarily focusing on supporting healthcare services in the Southern Highlands (inset). This new venture aims to strengthen the education sector’s approach to teaching personal-development, which includes the vital topic of HIV prevention. The program forms part of the Health Foundation’s implementation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Round 10 HIV grant. This Global Fund grant, which began in March 2012, aims to strengthen the capacity of HIV prevention, treatment and support systems across Papua New Guinea.
Scheduled to begin this month, the school mentorship program will work with secondary school teachers in Morobe and Hela to deliver high quality lessons that covers issues of HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights. Through a series of workshops and in-class teaching, the program will enable personal-development teachers to receive specialised training in accordance to the national personal-development curriculum. The school mentorship program comes at an opportune time; whilst life-skills based HIV education are part of the DoE curriculum, it has been estimated that only 21.9% of young women and men in Papua New Guinea aged 15-24 can correctly identify ways of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV and reject major misconceptions about HIV transmission.
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Global Health News
Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.