Daniel (JSK staff on right) acts as if he has pneumonia as two training participants try to help him out
How do you teach people to look after people with HIV/AIDS?
Its esp. hard because we cannot take groups to homes where people are sick - for the simple fact that any visitors inevitably raise questions in the neighbours' minds - and HIV continues to be a disease that does not dare speak its name.
One way is through role plays.
We just finished our second session of the current Church Partner training in HIV/AIDS care.
Topics covered today included - HIV testing and counselling, general counselling skills, keeping people's immune system up as long as possible, and recognising and treating opportunistic infections in people with HIV.
We had an open book exam at the end.
Each participant in the training 'visited' a home where a person was sick with HIV. Along with another participant they tried to understand what the immediate problem was and then tried to apply what they learned today - in a real time setting.
Our JSK staff acted out various scenarios - a person with bacillary dysentry, a new TB case, a person with meningitis, a person suffering with herpes zoster, person sick with pneumonia and a person with a giardiasis. All situations our staff have dealt with - and whom church members ministering to people with HIV/AIDS will be forced to deal with sooner or later.
It was a wonderful experience to work through the situations and see what steps were well done and which can be improved.
Sanjeev, one of our staff who had acted the case of menigitis said that he felt so nice that we was being cared for.
Role playing will we trust lead to playing real roles.