The first Siyakhula Collaborative Workshop was held on 15-16 November 2018 at Kalafong Hospital. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together a group of multidisciplinary health scientists, clinicians, public health stakeholders, and people with lived experience to build capacity for research and training in HIV-infection and women’s and infants’ health across geographical and disciplinary boundaries.
A variety of presenters covered topics that ranged from an overview of the paediatric HEU patient to summarizing the health challenge at hand. An overview of the Siyakhula study’s progress was also shared with the group. Further presentations were given on the updated PMTCT guidelines from the National Department of Health and current trends, HIV in the Canadian landscape, infant feeding and breastfeeding in South Africa, and the importance of focusing on the developmental origins of health and disease in order to improve future health, early career trainee perspectives on the future directions of the field and the importance of patient engagement in clinical research.
Group discussions focused on the question: What key concerns must be addressed when aiming to improve the health and well-being of mothers and infants affected by HIV? Three priority concerns were identified by the group discussions: 1) ART education, safety, and compliance, 2) understanding the health risks for HEU infants, and 3) safe breastfeeding practices.
In summary, the Siyakhula Collaborative Workshop fostered the opportunity for collaborative discussions between scientists, clinicians, and other stakeholders, from various institutions, fields, and research backgrounds, ultimately fulfilling the purpose of the workshop.
More information on the workshop can be obtained from www.siyakhulacollaborativeworkshop.weebly.com