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K4Health Programme to Enhance Knowledge Creation, Sharing, & Learning Within PANCAPNew Project will enhance PANCAP's response to new Test and Start Guidelines

October 14, 2016

The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV&AIDS, PANCAP, has formed a partnership with the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Program to significantly enhance the capacity of the PANCAP Coordinating Unit (PCU) and to aid all PANCAP members in knowledge generation and sharing with regard to the new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for ‘Test and Start’.

The K4Health Project, based in Baltimore, United States, is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Global Health, Office of Population and Reproductive Health and implemented by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP).

According to Director of PANCAP, Dereck Springer, the new partnership will transform the way in which knowledge management and sharing is done among the PANCAP member countries with particular regard to the new WHO guidelines for HIV/AIDS treatment eligibility.

‘HIV positive persons are living longer and healthier lives when treatment is administered from the point of diagnosis,’ stated the PANCAP Director, ‘but we must consider the significant changes that must occur within health care systems and HIV/AIDS health support entities if HIV positive people require treatment right after diagnosis rather than when their viral load becomes high. This requires a large public education initiative and training for health care workers. The K4Health Project will assist with packaging and sharing vital information necessary for PANCAP members to begin the process of educating health care workers and the public about commencing treatment immediately after a HIV positive diagnosis’.

According to Knowledge Management Advisor, K4Health Project, Sarah Fohl, ‘our goal is to present information that is vital to HIV testing and early treatment in concise, well-packaged communication products that can be easily accessed and utilized by policy makers, health care professionals, civil society organizations, and all entities involved in the eradication of the virus’.

The Knowledge Management Advisor explained that the new partnership between the two entities will help to enhance the availability and access to vital information regarding the new treatment eligibility. ‘For example, K4Health will be instrumental in revamping and relaunching the PANCAP website with fact sheets, policy documents, brochures, and other communication products which will concisely illustrate the importance of commencing early HIV treatment after a positive diagnosis as well as other issues related to advocacy around stigma and discrimination’.

The K4Health Project will conduct a number of other initiatives including knowledge sharing events and workshops for PANCAP members which are designed to increase learning opportunities and exchange of best practices throughout the Caribbean region related to the implementation of the new early treatment guidelines.

Our overarching aim is to support the PANCAP Coordinating Unit’s mandate to demonstrate PANCAP’s value in contributing to a regional HIV response,’ stated Ms. Fohl, ‘ we believe that through enhanced knowledge generation, sharing, and learning among PANCAP members, we can effectively support the scale up of “Test and Start” in the Caribbean Region’.

Contact
Timothy Austin
Communications Specialist
PANCAP Coordinating Unit | Knowledge for Health (K4Health)
CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Extension 3409
Email: taustin.consultant@caricom.org
Fax: (592) 222-0203