Since I came back from maternity leave,
I have been meeting with and talking to colleagues in African community
organisations all over London.
As well as introducing them to NAM’s
range of information resources (that’s if they are not
already familiar with them) I agree distribution systems to ensure they have a
steady supply of materials. Often African community organisations aren’t aware
of the free availability of NAM’s
patient information materials so it’s important I let them know how they can
easily obtain good quality materials to support their service users.
I also always ask for feedback
about our resources, which sometimes identifies new information needs. In the current difficult
funding climate I also keep my eyes and ears open to make sure I notice new
organisations, and agencies that have merged or closed down, so we can keep our online directory of
African organisations up to date.
Feedback on The
It’s very exciting, when
visiting African community organisations, to be able to show the new titles from our series of illustrated information resources
called The basics. These resources are designed to communicate
visually to people through the use of colourful images to engage the reader and
to illustrate key points. They give straightforward information, presented
simply and memorably, bringing this information to life. The new titles were
developed taking into account some of the feedback I had received from African
community organisations before I set off on maternity leave.
Below is some of the encouraging
feedback we have received from various community workers regarding the
usefulness of our resources.
“I have found the NAM resources to be an invaluable
and reliable source of information for my work. The basics series has
been particularly useful for my African clients whose first language is not
English, because the text is in bite-size pieces and the diagrammatic
illustration is easier for them to understand. Information in The basics is
quick and simple for my newly diagnosed clients to process.
information booklets have been equally useful but more suited for
my clients who have the time and are needing more in depth information on
a particular area; for example HIV & women
for planned parenthood. All of these resources are great for clients to pass on
to family or friends they wish to disclose to or educate.” Quinet Akanoh,
Health Trainer – African Communities Lead, HIV Health Support Service, Terrence
“I was introduced to NAM by
another colleague, Star Mguni, when I complained about not getting enough
information, which made sense, about HIV. So I googled the site and found a
little 'utopia'. If NAM
would give a little exam and a certificate – who needs a university!
I direct both patients and staff to this website for all their HIV needs.
I live and breathe NAM.
Thank you for the simplicity and clarity with which you present your
Francis, HIV Lead Midwife, Coleridge Unit, North
resources are indeed very useful and valuable to Opportunity
for All and our HIV-positive service users, particularly The basics, because they have several different important
topics and they are really spot on.
These resources are really very popular and
that is why I keep ordering more and more. A lot of appreciation goes to you
and your colleagues on the resource team for producing these excellent free HIV
information resources. Thank you.”
Mr Oola Balam, Co-ordinator, HIV Secondary Prevention and Support Service, Opportunity for All
“I am the newly appointed project manager for
project From Pregnancy to Baby and Beyond.
The project is aimed at providing education, information and support for
prospective, expectant and current mothers living with or affected by HIV.
Support is provided by trained mentor mothers
in form of one-to-one support; outreach to clinics; and a series of national Pregnancy Journey workshops.
Women living with HIV who test HIV positive during
pregnancy or who plan to have a baby after a diagnosis often have a myriad of
clinical, practical and psychosocial issues. Two of the key issues they all
have to deal with are the doctor-patient relationship and taking HIV treatment,
both of which are vital in terms of ensuring prevention of vertical
transmission and ensuring that mothers engage in health care both during
pregnancy and after the baby is born.
And this is where the NAM
resource series The basics becomes invaluable. One of the challenges many find in managing their
health care is that they are sometimes not able to ask the doctor the right
questions. Especially when starting treatment. Being able to ask the right
questions, looking at how treatment fits in with individual circumstances and
generally being able to articulate side-effects is extremely important in
ensuring adherence to medication. We regularly refer our service users to
The basics and many have found them extremely useful. One of the service
users said. “I
like the booklet because, the language is simple and there’s not too much
jargon. It has enabled me to better ask questions to my doctor and even better
still, it is small enough to fit in my pocket!” Angela Namiba, Project Manager, From Pregnancy to
Baby and Beyond, Positively UK
resources extremely handy as they cover a wide range of subjects and our
service users find them easy to read and understand."
Samuel Serunjogi, First Point, South London HIV Partnership
We also have a new resource
supports people with HIV to have informed discussions with their doctor
regarding their treatment options and help identify health and lifestyle issues
that might affect their treatment choices. I have been promoting this new
interactive resource to African community organisations during my visits as,
often, African people are less familiar with the concept of the doctor-patient
dialogue, and the evidence suggests that the more people are able to
participate in decisions about their treatment and care the better their health
Talking points encourages
people living with HIV to:
- have open discussions with their healthcare team
- feel more confident talking to their healthcare
- feel better equipped to take decisions regarding
their treatment and care
My job at NAM involves
gathering information and ensuring the voices of African people with HIV are
included in the design and development of our information resources. I am so
pleased and grateful for all the help we have had from people living with HIV
and community organisations in developing these new resources. Thank you!
For more information
If you are an individual or
organisation working within the African community and offer services to African
people with HIV, please get in touch with me. If you regularly subscribe to NAM’s
print and online resources, I would be very pleased to hear your views and
comments on these resources. I look forward to meeting you all very soon!
Please contact me for more
details by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 020 3242 0820.
Jackie leads NAM’s African Communities Engagement Project,
which is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund and the
Henry Smith Charity.