McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope’s project receives Grand Challenges Canada funding for HIV peer education program in Tanzania

By Meaghan Thurston

Betty Liduke
Betty Liduke

In a hospital in a remote part of Tanzania with little access to health care tools tools – not even a telephone – in an area with one of the highest HIV rates in the world, public health nurse Betty Liduke has been scrambling to support an ever-increasing population of people who were HIV positive. Specifically, she had been looking for partners to help her launch a peer-education program in her community. Today, that dream is a reality, with a little help from her friends – writer and former CBC broadcaster Royal Orr, and McGill’s Madeleine Buck of the Ingram School of Nursing and McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope. The project has just received its first major funding boost from Grand Challenges Canada (GCC).

On May 22, it was announced that the McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope program, of which Buck is Chair, has been awarded a $112,000 GCC Stars in Global Health award for the project ‘Turning hope into action: Youth peer health education in rural Tanzania,’ a site-specific HIV/AIDS youth peer health education program in primary schools.

The project is designed to empower youth in making healthy decisions and to address the huge gaps in knowledge around HIV transmission. The Njombe region has the highest prevalence of HIV in the country (14.8 per cent), with the incidence increasing in young adults. The situation is compounded because no formalized HIV education program exists in local schools, and orphaned youth often receive no guidance about how to prevent HIV transmission…

Read the full story in The McGill Reporter

May 27, 2014