The number of evidence based international and national strategies, plans and guidelines released in the last four years are evidence of the political will to combat the causes of child and maternal illness and deaths in our country. Yet, changing HIV treatment guidelines and an increase in ART eligibility to prevent new infections constantly challenge the practising health provider's knowledge and healthcare service delivery (Venter, 2012/ 2013). There is global consensus that health worker training is a priority for effective policy implementation and high quality care. Large numbers of healthcare workers in South Africa require clinical training to improve the quality of care for priority populations, yet the accessibility of training and the availability of follow-up mentoring are limited.

In response to the call for effective health worker training, South to South has developed various training programmes. These are built on the belief that the need for the student to learn is more important than the need for us to teach, and that students construct new learning based on previous knowledge and experiences. During training we strive to create experiences from which our students can construct their own learning. These learning experiences are tailored to the audiences and are designed to build on the knowledge and experience they already have. Student assessment follows a competency model to ensure that, by the end of the course, they have the knowledge, attitudes and skills to be safe and competent practitioners. In order to achieve this, our training courses use a variety of training approaches. These include on and off site face-to-face teaching as well as distance learning components, field visits and mentoring. Teaching methods include presentations, group discussions, assignments, demonstration, practice, and clinic visits.

The South to South training programme also prioritizes inter-professional and lifelong learning. Our trainers are drawn from a variety of cadres. They are doctors, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, psychologists and social workers, each training in their area of expertise. Where feasible, different cadres of health professionals are trained together. Participants are encouraged to participate in discussion groups using various information and communication technologies (ICT) both during and after their courses as we strive to build sustainable communities of learning. In this way we hope to establish district-level expertise. We also provide technical assistance and develop the training material required for a variety of clients and a variety of audiences.

South to South Strategic Goals

Programme Areas

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