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New study abroad program to train-the trainers on HIV nursing care

Monday, December 06, 2010 - New study abroad program to train-the trainers on HIV nursing care
Media Contact:
Nikki Eaves

ST. LOUIS – Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College will teach its students to teach others about HIV through its first study abroad program.

The study abroad program is designed as a peer-led collaborative experience between undergraduate nursing students at Barnes-Jewish College and the University of Buea, an English-speaking university in southwestern Cameroon in sub-Sahara Africa.

During the spring 2011 term, the eight students accepted into the program will enroll in an HIV elective course that will cover the etiology, epidemiology, physiological and psychosocial aspects of HIV disease; as well as best nursing practices for caring of pregnant HIV-infected women. They will then travel to Cameroon during the spring break to share that knowledge with their student nurse peers during an intensive educational workshop, in what is called the “train-the-trainer” learning model.

“Our students have a rare opportunity in nursing education to work hands-on within a global setting to promote HIV nursing care,” says Neal Rosenburg, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, and principal investigator of the program.

Cameroon became the site of the study abroad program following a research study on HIV-related stigma conducted at five Cameroonian nursing programs by Dr. Rosenburg and Donna Taliaferro, PhD, RN, the Paul McKee, Jr. Associate Dean for Research. During their visit, the local students and faculty members expressed a need for HIV education within women’s reproductive health.

Women living in sub-Saharan Africa constitute 60 percent of people living with HIV, and Cameroon has among the five highest HIV/AIDS death rates in West Africa.

“These sobering numbers reinforce the need to have the Cameroonian and U.S. nursing students share knowledge with each other the unique care guidelines during the pregnancy of HIV-infected women in a resource limited setting,” says Dr. Rosenburg.