The training featured theoretical introductions of clinical assessments and decision making, presentations of case studies and practical sessions in reading X-Rays. Among the topics presented were HIV and Skin, Chest X-ray Diagnosis in HIV Patients with a special focus on diagnosis of smear-negative TB, and Introduction of CT Scan for TB Diagnosis presented by Dr. Tom Heller, Lighthouse Clinical Advisor. Interpretation of Lab Values at Lighthouse Clinics was also presented by Dr. Prakash Ganesh, Lighthouse Pediatric HIV Technical Advisor.
Clinical cases such as patient ART failure, ensuring timely switch to second line treatment and the relevance of CD4 counts in stratifying the risk of patients and influence optimized treatment also garnered sometimes heated but objective discussions showing scientific but also emotional commitment of clinical personnel to patient care.
Asked on the reasons for hosting these Smart Saturdays, Dr. Heller said “continuous medical education is a cornerstone to maintain Lighthouse’s role as Center of Excellence in Integrated HIV prevention, treatment and care. Effectively using these weekends for the training and skills development of our clinicians will certainly help to improve the care of patients at Lighthouse clinics as well as in our supported prototype sites.”
“Smart Weekends” derived from Smart Saturdays, which commence on Saturday morning, are intense training workshops that regularly feature in the Lighthouse clinical department training calendar and are based on presentations from experts with experience in HIV management. Unlike the standard weekend training workshops, Smart Saturdays mainly focus on clinical case presentations which engage participants with practical real life experience. Interactive discussions, which are an important aspect of these informative sessions, take place after each presentation with the purpose of experience sharing, establishment of diagnostic pathways, and the standardization and optimization of treatment within all Lighthouse and Lighthouse supported clinics.
Amongst those in attendance for the Smart Weekend Workshop were Lighthouse Executive Director, Prof Sam Phiri, Medical Director, Dr. Beatrice Mwagomba, Lighthouse Clinicians and representatives from Kawale Health Center and Area 25 Health Center.