Thirteen students from the San Marcos School of Nursing in the United States will join Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force together with three faculty members to provide palliative care under poorly equipped conditions.
In a statement issued by the embassy yesterday it said each year, senior-level nursing students from the California State University, San Marcos School of Nursing are invited to observe local nurses and doctors providing patient care for communities severely impacted by the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Swaziland, Lesotho, and Botswana.
This year, thirteen students and three faculty members will partner with the Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force and Swaziland Hospice at Home for a unique opportunity to learn about providing palliative care in a resource-limited setting.
The embassy said while the students fund their own travel to Swaziland, the faculty who teach palliative care skills are supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Department of Defence HIV and AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP).
This experience will teach students to learn to adapt and care for patients without relying on cutting-edge medical equipment and sometimes even without the most basic of amenities. In turn, the local communities will benefit as the group of student nurses bring donated medical supplies and over-the-counter medicines to help stock the shelves at the clinics, which typically have little inventory due to the high demand.
Since the programme’s inception, the California State University San Marcos School of Nursing has sponsored five trips for nursing students to serve in Africa.
The US DHAPP programme has provided over $6 million in support to the USDF’s efforts against HIV and AIDS. The program focuses on prevention, HIV testing and counseling and monitoring and evaluation.