PentaTr@ining Uganda 2023: Empowering healthcare professionals

27 Oct, 2023

In the heart of Munyonyo, Uganda, on October 13-14, over 140 healthcare professionals and researchers gathered for our course, PentaTr@ining Uganda 2023. The bespoke two-day programme was a rich fusion of knowledge-sharing, interactive learning, and networking, welcoming both physical and virtual participants.

The course was designed to explore the intricacies of paediatric HIV care and equip participants with the latest evidence-based treatment strategies and breakthroughs in clinical HIV management, as well as key updates in clinical trials and research methodologies. Led by an expert panel of local, regional and international experts, the exciting agenda had a keen focus on innovative therapies, digital health, opportunistic infections, age-appropriate treatment strategies, sexual health, disclosure, adherence, and mental health support for both children and adolescents.

Carlo Giaquinto, President of the Penta foundation stated, “I think this PentaTr@ining event is more than just as a way to learn on how to treat children living with HIV or co-infections. It should also make us think on how we can adapt our way of life and working based on new epidemics and emerging infections, which may come along quite quickly as we have seen.”

A standout feature of PentaTr@ining Uganda 2023 was the inclusion of ‘break-out’ clinical case sessions and interactive group quizzes. The clinical case sessions presented attendees with real-world scenarios, challenging them to apply their knowledge in the differential diagnoses and treatment strategies. These rewarding sessions fostered critical thinking, problem-solving, and peer discussions, creating a deeper understanding of the intricacies surrounding paediatric HIV care. Additionally, participants were quizzed on key topics and concepts, creating a fun and engaging atmosphere that also reinforced their understanding. These quizzes provided instant feedback, allowing attendees to identify areas where further study or clarification might be needed.

Online attendees were able to enjoy live streams of the sessions, granting them access to real-time discussions and quizzes, and uniting them with their in-person counterparts.

Members of Penta’s Youth Trials Board and Youth Steering Committee were also present at the course and shared their experiences living with HIV, and also underscoring the vital role that young people play in clinical trials and healthcare decision-making. The event highlighted the need to involve voices of young people in shaping their healthcare journeys.

Eleanor Namusoke-Magongo, Ministry of Health AIDS control Program, Uganda had this to say “Meetings like this, which bring together clinicians, researchers, implementers, program managers and policy makers, are very important. To be able to learn from each other, share experiences, and see how we can move the learnings from such training opportunities into policy, is a great achievement for us.”

PentaTr@ining Uganda 2023 has empowered healthcare professionals to take on the challenges posed by paediatric HIV with confidence and innovation. By involving young people’s voices, promoting fun learning, and emphasizing real-world applications, the course advocated for a holistic and patient-centred approach to improving the lives of children, adolescents and pregnant people living with HIV.