(posted on behalf of Dr Hussun Jezan)
Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Yemen’s population is estimated around 22,492,035, of which 67.3% is under the age of 25 years. The country has one of the highest population growth rates globally, with the population expected to double in the next 23 years. Aden, located on the coastal line of the Arabian Sea, is considered as most at-risk to HIV infection, with high rates of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, mobility, and gender disparities place the predominantly young Yemeni nation at risk of HIV infection. Yemen is considered as a low prevalence country with respect to HIV and AIDS. However, it is likely that this low rate hides a much grimmer reality, given the fact that many cases go unreported due to the social stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. it’s when one has tested positive that the problem starts; it then becomes extremely difficult for the afflicted because of discrimination not only in the society but also by healthcare workers in the hospitals and clinics . Even though health personnel have the dual responsibility of providing care and counseling to people with HIV/AIDS and educate individuals and community about the facts related to HIV/AIDS. They act as a role model for their community by providing compassionate and respectful care; and educate individuals and groups about HIV/AIDS.because many people think there is a ‘cure’ for AIDS – which makes them feel safer, and perhaps take risks that they otherwise wouldn’t.
Surveillance research was conducted in Dentistry, Pharmacy and Medical faculty in university of Aden in February 2012 and April2012 to assess knowledge and attitude of the undergraduate students; our future healthcare workers who are the best educate individuals about the facts related to HIV/AIDS. The results of surveillance KAP reveal our students have low level of essential knowledge of HIV/AIDS , have negative attitude towards PLWH and there is also a misconception that keeping silent and do nothing is a way of helping PLWH.
Such Ignorance among undergraduate student can act as an impediment in the care of AIDS patients which may pose a great problem in future. These are the people who can build the right platform wherein doctors and experts on HIV can provide further knowledge.
AIDS Awareness Centre and Scientific Research (AACR) was established by a decision of the Faculty Council issued by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.The objective of the centre is to participating in society awareness, and decrease HIV percentage level, aware the new generation of the physicians to provide best health service. Improve the quality of the health services by seminars and workshops about updating HIV/AIDS by local and international experts. Targeting group is medical dentist, and pharmacist students , teaching academic staff, internship doctors (physicians teaching and non teaching hospital and health medical staff (Nurses and technicians).
In order to achieve this goal, we are looking for collaboration through this network to help our center. What we need is trainers with expertise in:
1. Improving the quality of the health services of PLWH by seminars and workshops and updating HIV/AIDS by experts.
2. Enlightening and educating the physicians on how to deal with HIV/AIDS in the out patients and clinics.
Also we want to receive experiences from other who already have such centers in MENA region since this is the only center in Yemen until now.
Associate Prof. Dr Hussun Saeed Jezan
Aids Awareness Center and Scientific Research
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
University of Aden
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