ECF was a key implementing partner in the inaugural HIV and TB Care in South Africa (HTCSA) conference held at the Elangeni Southern Sun Hotel in Durban from 16-17 August 2014. The conference was a joint collaboration of the Enhancing Care Foundation (ECF), Broadreach Healthcare, and the Durban University of Technology (DUT). LiveMoya, a multi-disciplinary project management and consulting organization, provided professional event management services to ECF for the hosting of this ground breaking conference. Conference sponsors also included Global Laboratories, Aspen, CIPLA, and Equity Pharmaceuticals.
The theme for this ground breaking conference aimed at a broad range of health workers, including doctors and nurses, was “Closing the Gap”. To this end, the conference programme focused on:
- Providing updates on advances in HIV and TB care in South Africa
- Defining the next steps in advancing care and the prevention of HIV and TB
- Reviewing current prevention and cure strategies and their relevance in the SA context
- Outlining the strategies being used to treat drug resistant TB and HIV
- Assessing the impact of chronic HIV infection and the treatment of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension
- Defining the research priorities in HIV and TB care in South Africa
Leading international experts such as Professor Constance Benson and Professor Robert Schooley (USA), Professor Johnstone Kumwenda (Namibia), and Professor KN Kumarasamy (India), partnered with local experts, Professor Umesh Lalloo, Dr. Sandy Pillay and Dr. Rosie Mngqibisa to interrogate current challenges in a number of stimulating panel discussions.
A key feature of the conference was the well-attended breakaway sessions specifically catering for the information needs of nurses. This was particularly appreciated as the conference was seen to acknowledge the key role that nurses play in the functioning of public health services in South Africa. Dr Trevor Majoro led a well-received session on a NIMART approach to ART provision in South Africa, whilst paediatrician Dr Mo Archery presented a session on paediatric AIDS care. Other sessions aimed at nurses included Dr Farida Amod’s case – based approach to HIV care, Dr Melanie John’s HIV/TB co-infections, and Dr Kolek Mlisana’s approach to common opportunistic infections.
Lastly, the delegates social needs were addressed with the hosting of a glittering gala dinner where Durban’s Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo presented the key note address. All in all, the conference was an outstanding success and plans are underway for the 2nd HTCSA conference in 2015.