Human capacity-building plan for scaling up HIV/AIDS treatment

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Reference Number: ISBN 92 4 159113 7

Challenge and goal

The challenge

On 22 September 2003, the Director-General of WHO declared the “emergency expansion of training and capacity development for health professionals for delivering simplified, standardized antiretroviral treatment” to be a priority of the 3 by 5 Initiativei.

Globally, up to 100 000 people need to be trained for their contribution to achieving the 3 by 5 target– including those involved in managing and delivering antiretroviral treatment services, those working on testing and counselling and other entry points to antiretroviral treatment and the many community treatment supporters assisting people living with HIV/AIDS who are receiving medication. The challenge is enormous, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on the workforce is exacerbating the already difficult situation.

This document outlines a strategic plan for WHO to support the development, strengthening and sustaining of the workforce necessary to radically scale up and maintain antiretroviral treatment. The strategic approach is based on the understanding that achieving this goal critically depends on joint efforts between communities, countries and international organizations. It builds on the experience of successful capacity-building efforts and harnesses existing expertise to strengthen training capacity at the regional and country level in the context of an emergency response.

The proposed plan identifies five elements that are critical for building and sustaining human capacity for the 3 by 5 target at the point of service delivery:

  • making available simple and appropriate training programmes on key competencies for antiretroviral therapy;
  • designing country-specific approaches to training and human resource development;
  • providing targeted technical assistance for rolling out training programmes;
  • developing training certification and quality control mechanisms; and
  • ensuring the availability of sufficient funds for implementing training.

The strategy outlines a set of action steps in each of these domains that together are expected to result in the necessary expansion of a skilled workforce at the country level. For each element, this document specifies what role partners can play and how countries can benefit from the proposed activities and services.

The plan proposes unprecedented global action for developing HIV/AIDS training and capacity. It can only be implemented by the combined effort of many partners. WHO is committed to drive this undertaking and invites countries and organizations to join.

The goal

The goal of the human capacity-building plan is to ensure the availability within countries of a sufficient number of appropriately qualified individuals for the emergency scale-up and maintenance of antiretroviral treatment services to 3 million people by the end of 2005ii.