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PanAfrican Acupuncture Project: An innovative training program for empowering Ugandan health providers

Elizabeth Sommers, MPH, LicAc, Pathways - Research Dept., AIDS CARE PROJECT, 142 Berkeley St., Boston, MA 02116, 617-859-3036 ext. 24, bsommers@pathwaysboston.org

Issues: The PanAfrican Acupuncture Project (PAAP) seeks to improve the health and quality of life for individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Africa. By training local healthcare workers to use simple and effective acupuncture techniques, communities can add these resources to their strategies for optimizing public health. Description: At the invitation of public health colleagues at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, PAAP designed a training program based on a model developed by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association in the U.S. to address highly prevalent symptoms associated with HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Thirteen trainees from urban and rural health facilities participated; the group consisted of midwives, medical doctors and a traditional healer. Colleagues included the Society of Women against AIDS in Africa, The AIDS Support Organization and an association of traditional healers and medical doctors. Lessons learned: Level of acceptance and utilization of this treatment were high. Since almost 95% of the HIV-positive population of Uganda receives no antiretrovirals, acupuncture may offer a strategy to improve health and quality of life as people wait for the government to provide medication. Recommendations: Pilot projects involving teaching local health personnel to use acupuncture should be considered in areas where access to medications and treatment is minimal. Programming to evaluate the usefulness, efficacy and cost can be implemented.

Learning Objectives: Attending this presentation will enable participants to

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, HIV/AIDS

Related Web page: www.panafricanacupuncture.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: PanAfrican Acupuncture Project
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Voices, Views, and Visions of Current and Future Health Professionals on Alternative and Complementary Health Practices

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA