Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2014 Contents B2
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 31, 2014
lovers everywhere to jump for joy and show your appreciation for jelly
beans. These tiny candies evolved from an ancient confection called
Our modern-day jelly beans gained popularity during the American
Civil War. A candy company in Boston began marketing jelly beans as
the perfect treat to send to soldiers, and soon everyone was hooked.
One of the most famous jelly bean fans is President Ronald Reagan.
He served them at his inauguration!
To celebrate National Jump for Jelly Beans Day, treat yourself to a de-
licious handful of jelly beans. Jump for joy when you stumble upon
your favorite flavor!
• From Page B1
Oscar Osho to put together the pro-
posal to the ministry for the training
centre, which was accepted.
"If you don t have the knowledge
you will continue to be afraid, you
will continue to stigmatise, you
will continue to discriminate," says
Ali, "training is for healthcare pro-
fessionals in the main, but we also
train NGOs, we train members of
the protective services, but in the
main---public servants in public
health institutions and the NGOs
because the NGOs interact with
Ali explains that the centre which
is funded by the T&T government
and a grant from the US government,
focuses on research and curriculum
development, as well as training.
"We train in all aspects of HIV man-
agement," she says, "that is clinical,
psycho-social, prevention. We train
on the national guidelines on treating
HIV, we train in conflict manage-
ment, [and] nutrition as a support
to treatment of HIV."
Ali was able to see that in her
capacity as a professor at UWI, how
she could assist in strengthening
HIV training to ensure more robust
care. "Working in the training centre,
we realised people get trained but
the doctors and other professionals
want more than just the three days,
two days of training---they want a
certificate at the end of the day---so
that was where I decided that the
next step is to create this diploma
geared towards professionals working
in the field." The idea for the Uni-
versity of the West Indies postgrad-
uate diploma in the Management of
HIV infection was born.
"I sold it to UWI and to I-TECH,"
says Ali, explaining that she was able
to collaborate with the international
training and education centre at Uni-
versity of Washington, Seattle (I-
TECH) from the beginning. They
were able to assist her in securing
funding for what was an initially a
face-to-face course and were excited
by her further idea to make the
diploma available online.
The part-time diploma which
started in 2012, and is geared towards
"doctors, nurses, dieticians, social
workers, pharmacists, middle man-
agement staff" is now even more
accessible as a result of being virtual.
Its initial cohorts of 12 and eight
students in years one and two
respectively, were almost all from
Trinidad but now the course is avail-
able to medical staff across the
Caribbean, including those smaller
islands that have limited HIV serv-
As part of the course, students
from a medical background are
expected to complete 48 hours clin-
ical practice, and students from these
smaller islands will be able to benefit
from clinical exposure in facilities in
Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica and
Nassau, where "the variety of clinical
problems that come through the
clinic" will enhance their learning
Ali says that the hopes for the
diploma build on those she nursed
for the TTHC,---that it will help with
"capacity building, improve clinical
care of patients and also show or
teach the participants ways in which
they can improve the quality and
service [of HIV care]."
Ali who recently retired says that
the diploma is her last big project
before taking up gardening. "I want
to get it out," she says, "make sure
it s a success so I am there to work
through any challenges, teething
problems so that my successor will
be able to carry it forward."
Acknowledging that she had not
mentioned all of the successful
endeavours she had been a part of
throughout her career, after all, there
had also been the introduction at
UWI of the postgraduate Doctor of
Medicine degree in Paediatrics, Ali
says, "I would say I have had a very
rewarding career. I think I have suc-
ceeded in helping or contributing to
the development of the healthcare
of the nation, from the public service
point of view and also in the devel-
opment of the faculty of the medical
sciences from the point of view of
She admits disappointment that
it would appear that those infected
by HIV have become complacent
because of the success of new HIV
treatments and that the end of the
five-year funded NACC means that
national HIV advocacy must virtually
start from scratch, but says Ali, "We
are improved. We now have national
guidelines," she explains, "we have
people trained, doctors trained in
managing the patients."
"But we still have a lot to improve,"
she concedes. "We still have a prob-
lem with stigma and discrimination,
we still have a problem with testing.
We need more people to come for-
ward and test, we still need a lot of
work in prevention and in those
patients who are on treatment, a lot
of support work in the area of assist-
ing them to disclose, to assist them
in their management and in drug
adherence because if you don t take
your drugs as prescribed, then you
will get the virus mutating and you
will get resistance."
With so many problems yet to
solve, Ali admits that true retirement
may not be that easy.
Zulaika Ali receiving her Chaconia Medal from President Richards in 2010.
Ali's lifelong devotion to health
continues past retirement
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