Evidence-Responsive Health Training to HIV/TB Risks in Namibia

Timothy Rennie School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia;

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Melody Chipeio School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia;

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Bubbles Udjombala School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia;

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Christian Kraeker School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia;
Division of General Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

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Christian John Hunter School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia;
Division of General Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

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Training health-care students in settings with high-prevalence HIV and tuberculosis (TB) presents a challenge to reduce the risk of infection during their clinical training while maintaining quality education. We sought to gauge the risk of exposure to HIV and TB and identify associated variables through two cross-sectional surveys of health students at the University of Namibia. In the HIV exposure survey, overall almost one-quarter of students (N = 367) reported exposure to HIV—most often needle-stick injury—with a much higher rate reported in senior years (73% in year 6). One in 10 students responding to the TB survey were found to have been exposed to TB (N = 290). Regression analyses suggested that time-related factors were a common predictor of risk of both HIV and TB in this setting. We consider that the overall exposure rate to HIV and TB was high, suggesting that training could be improved to reduce the risks of exposure.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Timothy Rennie or Christian John Hunter, School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, 340 Mandume Ndemufayo Ave., Windhoek, Namibia. E-mails: trennie@unam.na or chunter@unam.na

Disclosure: Both studies were approved by the UNAM Faculty of Health Sciences ethical review body.

Authors’ addresses: Timothy Rennie, School of Pharmacy, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, E-mail: trennie@unam.na. Melody Chipeio and Bubbles Udjombala, School of Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, E-mails: melchipeio@gmail.com and nnnudjombala@gmail.com. Christian Kraeker and Christian John Hunter, Division of General Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, and School of Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, E-mails: christian.kraeker@medportal.ca and chunter@unam.na.

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