STIRC awarded funds for Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP)
The University of Sydney, in association with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), has been successful in obtaining the Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) through AusAID. AusAID has funded the Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre (STIRC) and PHFI to have the unique opportunity for two large institutions to start the process of developing linkages and building local capacity in the field of STIs and HIV education and research. The 2 institutes will work together with the aim of achieving a reduction in the health impacts of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV in India and extending and strengthening India’s response to STIs and HIV.
The program will contribute in developing an International Professional Certificate in STIs/HIV. The course will be delivered to early career professionals pursuing a career in STIs & HIV at the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) in New Delhi and expanded to regional North East India. The first part of the program (year 1) will consist of course design - objectives, curriculum design and appropriate assessments including two in-country workshops with stakeholders. The jointly developed program will then be open to participants. The program will be run in presence of STIRC staff in year 2 and 3. Surveys of course participants before and after completing the course will allow the evaluation of course contents, delivery methods, relevance and applicability. The information gathered from these surveys will be used to fine tune the course for subsequent years. The final draft of the program for the certificate course will be ready in December 2011 to be delivered in the IIPH, New Delhi in 2012. On completion of IPC-STIs/HIV, fellows will have a comprehensive understanding of STIs and HIV infection, including interactions between HIV and other STIs. This program will help build capacity in the field of STIs and HIV in India and will empower participants to effectively coordinate responses to STIs and HIV via strengthening human resources and leading to enhanced workforce development. This may subsequently reduce the incidence and prevalence of STIs and HIV in India. The long-term goal is to further expand the course to regional Institutes after project completion in 2013. It is anticipated that the activity will act as catalyst for improved prevention, control and management of STIs and HIV in India and, in turn, help the country achieve the MDGs in relation to HIV.
By Heidi Ramsay