Fostering a multidisciplinary approach to HIV/AIDS education in developing nations

24 April 2012

A cross-disciplinary team from the University of Sydney has won an Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships grant to host a delegation of health sector representatives from four developing nations.

The $805,000 grant will enable 23 health sector workers from Botswana, Cambodia, India and Zambia to attend an intensive three-month Professional HIV Program at the University of Sydney in August.

The program will include intensive multidisciplinary training in the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, visits to centres of excellence and leadership workshops, as well as attendance at the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference. Those who successfully fulfill all program requirements will also attend the awarding of the International Professional Certificate in HIV Infection (IPC-HIV).

Now in its third year, the program is headed up by the Sydney Medical School's Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Associate Professor Richard Hillman and Professor Adrian Mindel in conjunction with Associate Professor Marylouise Caldwell from the Discipline of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School.

"We believe the grant represents how educators and program managers concerned with public health are increasingly open to integrating marketing principles into their disease prevention and treatment programs," says Dr Caldwell. "More specifically concepts, managers are routinely using marketing concepts and theories such as strategic marketing planning, market segmentation, targeting and positioning and the 7Ps of the marketing mix to enhance the effectiveness of their HIV/AIDS campaigns."

Dr Sawleshwarkar says that the program has enormous value.

"We firmly believe that the program is an opportunity for people working in the HIV/AIDS sector to engage in the reciprocal exchange of skills, ideas and opinions and underscores the significance of partnership, capacity building and a multidisciplinary approach in HIV prevention and control," he says. "From past experience, we know that such projects lead to deeper, more co-operative relationships between individuals, institutions and participating countries to create a network that is likely to contribute to significant improvements in HIV/AIDS programs in the participating countries."

About the ALA Fellowships

Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Fellowships is a fully funded program managed by the AusAID. The program aims to develop leadership, address priority regional development issues, and build partnerships and linkages between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East.

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