The Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) kicked off its conference yesterday, 9 June 2017, at the Durban Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC). With a host of topics on the conference agenda, esteemed medical professionals, government officials and laboratory experts will come together to reflect on progress, to date, before mapping out a strategy for the year ahead. With social behaviour changing rapidly from day to day, the conference will help both professionals and learners understand current challenges and how to approach them.
The 28p programme outlines the conference being supported by The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, The South African National AIDS Council and the World Health Organisation, to name a few key identities. The theme for the conference is centred around innovative practices as per, Conference Chair, Dr Yogan Pillay‘s message:
“South Africa has never needed it as much as now-especially in the education sector, as the epidemic is youth centered.”
Deputy Minister for the Department of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, is set to attend the conference to gain a deeper understanding which may help in guiding operational strategies to educate youth across South Africa. As part of the first conference track, focus will be granted on peer education programmes and seeking answers to what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to youth perceptions of the epidemic. The overarching aim is to facilitate two-way communication between youth and educational institutions to adapt learning programmes to suit engagement styles and preferences.
Other tracks will concentrate on post-schooling curriculum teaching of HIV/AIDS and adapting programmes for education in the workplace; investigating social and healthcare structures, as they stand, and how these may be improved to identify and combat the drivers of HIV/AIDS and commonly associated illnesses, such as tuberculosis; sustainable financing for youth-led HIV/AIDS educational programmes. The conference has been extremely well-organised and delegates are sure to end the 11th of June with positive insight into overcoming the obstacle of HIV/AIDS education in South Africa.